The South is a Place

The South is a place. East, west, and north are nothing but directions.

— Letter to the editor, Richmond Times Dispatch, 1995

I am reading the delightful book Confederates in the Attic. The quote above opens the second chapter.

When I lived in Colorado I took every opportunity to explore the magnificent hiking trails and striking mountain vistas offered by the Rocky Mountains. When I lived in Albuquerque I breathed deep to absorb the Native American spirit still alive in The Land of Enchantment. And when I lived in Princeton, NJ, I savored Washington’s Crossing and then immersed myself in the local history surrounding the Revolutionary War.

Lincoln’s Legend and Legacy

The color of the ground was in him, the red earth;
The smack and tang of elemental things:
The rectitude and patience of the cliff;
The good-will of the rain that loves all leaves.

— Edwin Markham, Lincoln, Man of the People

I watched the Bill Moyer’s special last night on Lincoln’s Legend and Legacy. Since moving to North Carolina a year and a half ago, I have become a student of the Civil War. The passion with which both sides fought and Lincoln’s incredible role in holding the Union together ignites in me a deep fascination for my adopted country.

The excerpt above is but a few lines from a rich and delightful poem by Edwin Markham. The second verse alone brings tears to my eyes and is worth committing to memory. Steel away a few quiet moments today and indulge yourself in a full reading of Markham’s Lincoln, Man of the People.