|Oakland Plantation ~ Louisiana|
The dark gray clouds hung low in the sky on the morning we arrived Oakland Plantation. It had rained most of the night...the ground was sticky with mud and water pooled in the low spots of bygone cotton fields. We were alone on the plantation. I am not of African descent so I could not view the plantation through slave's eyes, but I am sensitive to the presence of people who have gone before me. I was first drawn to the slave quarters...the cold rain still falling, as we entered the first cabin. The little place was dark and damp and after 100 years of its existence the structure had been fortified by the National Park Service to keep it from falling to the ground. I wondered if it was ever any better than it was on the day we visited?
The atmosphere outside was heavy and brought a spirit of despair, but in the stillness of the morning, except for the pitter patter of raindrops, I could hear the hustle and bustle of people beginning a new day. Even in poor weather, slaves must have plowed fields, chopped wood to heat their homes and prepared food. Their children probably played as all children do...with loud voices. As hard as life must have been...possibly beyond my comprehension...I heard a thread of laughter running through the clang and clatter of morning chores in this demanding and often sad circumstance.
Just my thoughts...