Mired in the muddy tangle of old roots and stale swamp, low grade noise and perpetual motion, I strived and pushed and gasped for air. The dampness weighed a thousand tons. The thunder roared and the lightning struck, and the rain poured down briefly drowning out the chaos. Sink hole opened to swallow me back down. I drove the narrow highway back to simpler times, dancing with the tall pines as they sped by, windows wide open, music blaring, onto the bumpy dirt and into the shadows of the swaying Spanish moss. The world disappeared into the darkness behind me. The cottonmouths lurked low in the old oak branches tempting me with the sweet fruits of mineral rich soil and poisoning me with their familiar charm. I forgot how to pray, and it is darkest just before the dawn. The old red brick church bells rang. The choir sang “Love Lifted Me”, calling me home to myself. At the river’s edge, I heard the frogs croaking and the cicadas buzzing and the bubbling crystal springs flowing endlessly anew. I listened deeply gazing into the still sparkle of the midnight sky as the breeze danced on my bare skin. In stillness I remembered what innocence and sheer wonder feel like. Over the long bridge, across the fine white sand, into the calm turquoise bathwater of the Gulf of Mexico, I floated weightlessly in silence. The glowing white sun shone clean through me. Finally, I am free.