Natchez does need horticulturist

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 8, 2008

The recent Sunday column by Kevin Cooper was appreciated — even though my senses were pickled to blight as I followed early reading by later, visual attention along Homochitto Street.

Usually I’m in peace on Sundays, less judgmental, loving neighbors, missing kin, delicate in appetites and being patient. Besides, in church, the congregation had sung “The Prayer of St. Francis,” which reminds of vulnerable animals and nature. And we humble small mankind are supposed to protect all that cannot speak for themselves.

However, gentle appreciation did distort along Homochitto Street as to why on earth I’d chosen Natchez for my own nest of creativity. Choice had been for its flowering beauty, grace, bird song from trees; avenues of majesty — even shedding skin crepe myrtles of color — all the beauty, manners and hospitality as preserved by its guardianship of people.

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Early on, Natchez had offered a hopefulness that it held hearts like Presidential wives — Jackie Kennedy, who was showing people aesthetics and class and Lady Bird Johnson, whose seeds of wildflowers blossom Texas roadsides.

But, my driving escort had not yet read Kevin Cooper’s column, as I mentioned it riding along Homochitto; myself, noticing the rusty brown rather than the landscapes of Dunleith, Twin Oaks and Hope Farm. He, a veteran with astute eyesight murmured, “Looks like Agent Orange.”

A while ago, the tree mongers had sprayed a Confederate Jasmine vine on a wire between my house. It had been ready to bloom and lilt scent into the air. Entergy crews had already trimmed off its top; so it was far away from wires. Kind Entergy men had done this from their bucket; reasoned by feminine description of beauty. It was the extremist crew who came by and poisoned the Confederate Jasmine.

Months later, Jasmine still holds both dead vine, dead blossoms and tangled new growth struggling through. Nature does overcome the mistakes of men. It takes more time now that men have more massive instruments than scythes.

You’re correct, Kevin Cooper. Natchez does need a horticulturist. Or someone with aesthetic eyes overseeing the powers that be.