The day dawned into a lovely summer day. Fluffy white clouds floated in the pool-blue sky, it was a day meant to be spent outside. I had the need for a little Louisiana road trip, so my sweetie and I got in the car and took off for the day. The only goal was to cross the new Mississippi River bridge at the sleepy little town of St. Francisville.
St. Francisville is a quintessential southern river town. It’s a town that bridges the past with the present. The rolling hills that surround it are dotted with stately plantation homes and gardens, which are all in full bloom this summer day. This is the area that the famed naturalist James Audubon painted the local birds and fauna in the 1800’s. The area has a rich past and a strong preservationist spirit. Beautiful homes and cottages abound in this small town with its tree-canopied streets.
My sweetie and I have been together for four years and this short drive from our hometown is rich in stories from our separate histories. We tell each other our stories from this area as we pass each of our memory milestones. A great meal from a restaurant here, a memorable stay at a B&B there, stories of fishing, hiking and camping.
For me this area is rich with Girl Scout memories. This is the area where the overnight Girl Scout camp is. Not only did I go there as a young Scout, but it’s also where I brought my daughter’s troop for years as their troop leader. Oh, those memories are so sweet and tender. I pop in a Carol King CD that I haven’t listened to in ages. Suddenly, unexpectedly, a bridge to the past is open and I can’t stop crying.
This was the CD my daughter and I listened to and sang to, most days that I drove her to school my first year as a single parent post divorce. There was a show we loved to watch, The Gilmore Girls. It was about a single mom and her teenage daughter and Carol King’s song “Where you Lead, I Will Follow” was it’s theme song. My tears were not sad, but poignant.
I have forgotten how these songs were once such a part of my life and how the words spoke to me. The words still speak to me. It is a strong healthy bridge to the past, even if there were some bumps on that road. My daughter is now a talented and beautiful young adult in her twenties creating her own path. I know wherever she goes, we will always be connected and she will always know the road home.
My sweetie and I do finally cross that new Mississippi River bridge. It is a beautiful, strong structure that crosses that mighty river. Today’s road trip took me to an unexpected bridge, one that connects me to my past. And one that still takes me home.
Where You Lead I Will Follow
by Carole King & Louise Goffin
loving you the way I do
I know we’re gonna make it through
And I will go
to the ends of the earth,
’cause darling, to me that’s what you’re worth
Where You Lead
I will follow
Anywhere that you tell me to
If you need – If you need me to be with you
I will follow
Where you lead
If you’re out on the road
Feelin’ lonely and so cold
All you have to do is call my name
And I’ll be there
On the next train
I always wanted a real home
With flowers on the windowsill
But if you wanna live in New York City
Honey you know I will
You never know how it’s all gonna turn out
But that’s ok
just as long
as we’re together
we can find a way
Oh baby, ohh, I’m gonna follow where you lead
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