The Natchez Trace has a long history of explorers. From the beginning of the Natchez Trace in Natchez, Mississippi to the end in Nashville, Tennessee are 440 miles of pure wonder. This is a wonderful road trip filled with many adventures. Each part of the Natchez Trace tells a story of times when Mississippi was a frontier.
Jess and I decided to explore a site on the Natchez Trace that is an hour from our home. We visited the Cypress Swamp off the Natchez Trace and experienced the beauty of dark waters, cypress trees, and reflections from the sun.
The exploration of the Cypress Swamp began as soon as we parked the truck. There is a large sign explaining some of the swamp’s history. We read the sign and then continue walking to the stairs leading to the bridge that crosses the swamp. The stairs are made of wood and steep. There is a sharp drop between some of the steps so we proceed slowly down watching our every move. Finally we reach the last step and move onto the bridge.
The stairs and bridge across the swamp show all types of life. The still black waters are the home to bugs, snakes, and the occasional alligator. A few young cypress trees are on dry land. There are trees and undergrowth surrounding the swamp. The quiet is interrupted by the sounds of birds from the surrounding paths. I take several photographs and Jess is filming a video to be posted on YouTube about our experiences on the swamp. Serenity is abundant in this tranquil environment as we walked the trail.
The still black water is haunting and stagnant on this sun filled afternoon. The cypress trees reflect in the sunlight causing a mirror of trees to reflect in the swamp. It is truly a beautiful site to behold. I ponder the meaning of the stillness.
I am struck by the large cypress trees that inhabit this ecosystem. They are still but yet teaming with life. This swamp has been here for many years and I wonder at the stories the trees would tell of the visitors who come here if they could speak.
These cypress trees will take root when the swamp does not have much water. As the swamp fills with water, the trees will live in this environment for an extended period of time. Cypress trees in this swamp have adapted to the environment.
The cypress trees tell a story of survival and life in the forest. Long ago a river channel fed this area and a swamp developed. As the cycle of life in nature has continued the river channel has slowly dried up and is now no longer supplying life-giving water to the swamp. The change is gradual and will take a long time but eventually the cypress trees will be gone. It will be replaced by new types of trees and undergrowth. It is a sad thought to me that this swamp will disappear and future generations will not have this serene and tranquil experience. Still the cycle of life must continue with death and renewal.
Jess and I reflect upon life and ponder some questions about it. Are all living things meant to continue or disappear completely? Will the cypress trees be remembered or just a distant memory? Nature continues to grow and renew itself. Like us there are parts of our lives that continue and other parts that disappear. The memories of our lives will be gone within a few generations. There will be new stories and adventures to be told and experienced.
The sun continues to reflect the trees as we continue our journey across the cypress swamp bridge. We look for an alligator, snake, or some other form of swamp life but are disappointed to only find insects grazing across the water. The stillness is deafening as we approach the end of the bridge. Carefully we watch our steps while climbing up the steep stairways.
I turn to take a few more photographs while Jess is finishing filming for the afternoon. We discuss the introduction and ending to the video of Cypress Swamp. It is difficult to decide what is the most interesting experience in this swamp. Jess and I decide to edit the video and see what story the cypress trees would like to tell.
The time has come for us to leave this beautiful swamp. It is a relaxing ride home on the Natchez Trace and we return to our home refreshed. Nature has renewed our spirits and we are ready for the next adventure.
copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce