Nightfall in the Pass

Long exposure
  • Aperture: f/8
  • Focal Length: 35mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Shutter: 1/0 sec
  • Camera: NIKON D80

Pass Christian, Mississippi

Scenic Highway 90, the beach so close you can taste the salt on your tongue. Pass Christian, the world so silent that ears ache for the timbre of voices lilting on the dark night wind. There are no voices. There are no people. There are no houses. There are no streetlights. There are precious few street signs. Whatever remains does so in crooked defiance.

Shrimpers are the life blood of the Pass. There aren’t as many as there used to be. There is no hum of the LORAN. There is no thwack of silvered ropes landing on splintered docks. There’s nothing here anymore but a desolate loneliness that creeps over the narrow spit of land, a pervading sense of foreboding. The storms will come again. They always do. It took 20 years for Pass Christian to recover from Hurricane Camille. After Katrina, most people decided they didn’t have the heart to go through it again.

Yet I’m drawn to this lonely place. Spirit calls strongly here. I feel there’s something important here, some deep truth I’m missing, some life purpose I can’t quite see just yet. It’s the setting for part of my novel, and even there my heroine wanders in a daze. She too seems to have lost something here. She too leaves empty-handed.

I wish I could understand what drives my search. Why I return to this place over and over. Why it tips me over the edge of sanity in a way no other place ever has. I have no history here. No past, no present. But it feels so hauntingly familiar, touches some centuries old echo that says, I’ve been here before. Mourned a nameless sorrow with such wild grief that I may never be whole again. 

If there are past lives, I’m certain one of mine was spent here. Something ended. Something, someone was taken, replaced with a howling misery that blows through me every time I stare out at the water. Or something will be. And so I return, again and again, in search of an answer to a question that I’m not even sure is mine.

Music: Now Comes the Night by Rob Thomas (lyrics)

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