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Senses of Thanksgiving

Thank you, O Lord, in this bountiful season for the five senses to relish your world. Thank you for the succulent smells of the fruits of the earth in the kitchens of our mothers and wives. Thank you for the odor of rich delta dirt on a warm, foggy winter morning. Thank you for the smell of wood smoke, especially that tinted with lightered pine. Thank you for the stew of odors distinct to our rivers and bayous— cypress needles, primal water, mud and decay, life and life to be. Thank you for the sound of voices of those who came before us and those who will carry our legacies into the future— our parents, grandparents and our children. Thanks for the muffled wings of waterfowl above an ov

Bayou Times

Shortly after New Year’s Day in 1913 the steamboat Gopher pulled hard to port side and entered the mouth of Bayou D’Arbonne from the Ouachita River above Monroe. She was on a special chartered trip and the passengers had no interest in the bustling packet trade that usually paid the captain’s bills. One of them was a world traveler and a man of letters from the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Science. His companions knew little of letters of any kind and wore hard labor calluses with their overalls. The bayou was half a century away from knowing the biodiversity choking effects of locks and dams. Dusky and creole darters still lived in the gravel shoals that wagons could cross in late summer


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