We Live Here, Don’t We?

The constant toil of beach renourishment and the building of levees, breakwaters, seawalls, groins, piers, jetties, and dunes signify the impermanent boundary between water and land.  With the added pressure of climate change, shoreline erosion and flooding will increase and tidal surge will extend further inland.

Eudora Welty wrote of persistence of Mississippians living in the low Delta landscape in her short story,
“At The Landing.”

‘Well, it makes you think sometimes, to see the water come over all the world,’ said the postmaster.  ‘I took everything I could out of here last time.  Then I come down from the hill and peeked in the door and what did I see?  My showcases commencing to float loose.  What a sight that did make!  I wouldn’t have thought I sold some of them things.  Carried the showcases out on the hill, but nowhere much to take them.  Could you believe I could carry everything out of my store in twenty minutes but my safe?  Couldn’t lift that.  Left the door to it open and went off and left it.  So as it wouldn’t rust shut, Floyd, Miss Jenny.  Took me a long time to scrape the river out of that thing.’

All three waited a moment, and then the postmaster spoke again in a softer, intimate voice, smilingly. ‘Some stranger lost through here says, “Why don’t you all move away?” Move away?’  He laughed, and pointed a finger at Jenny. ‘Did you hear that, Miss Jenny – why don’t we move away?  Because we live here, don’t we, Miss Jenny?’