Friday, March 5, 2021

‘A Mississippi Summer Night’ by Shane Brown


I love a Mississippi summer night.

There are different views I get and different sounds I need and wanna feel that make my body and mind ease my day from a hard day of work from sweat and heat that has worn my body down and that has tarnished my clothes. I love how the heat has lowered once the sun has gone and the sweating has diminished. Sometimes the wind will pick up as the sun is falling and it will chill your body through the soaked t-shirt on your chest and back drenched in sweat. The ending of daylight is peaceful and intriguing to me and the later of my nights I tend are valued.

I love the view of its sunset when I’m on the farm after either Joe or I have finished milking the night’s set of Jerseys. My eyes are attracted to the slow glimpses of purples and reds and pinks with its blue falling sky outside the dairy barn as our work is done. Some times I’m just over at the dairy watching work and hanging with friends. Whatever it may be, I’m enjoying the night and thankful for the day I had.

I remember when I was a child and a summer night took over. It was full of games with cousins and my brother and my sister. A huge light pole in the middle of a field or garden dictated our coverage of play. Hide-And-Seek was a must and then we played a baseball game. Before all that was taken in, we chased and jumped and leaped for Lightning Bugs floating through pastures or under trees in our yard. We would puncture holes in Mama’s canister lids so the bugs could breathe as we sealed the jar shut and fed the bugs grass we tore from the ground. All this play would carry on as we heard music from a back porch and see a grill cooking our supper. We’d play until we were called in, but not until another ball was thrown or bug caught or until someone finally gave up trying to find me.

Mississippi nights are full of fishing too. We tight line river banks and ponds searching for catfish. We swim in pools and ponds. Trips are taken to Sardis lake and Enid lake for camp outs. I’ve watched combines cut soybeans with head beams above their tractors shinning a field. Deer move and scatter while feeding on green pastures or gardens that are manicured and maintained. Guitars are blared from an amp and Chris Stapleton plays out of our radios from an ATVs. I’ve yelled and cheered at baseball games where my son has made a great play or knocked in the winning run as my daughter, Rilee, swings from the monkey bars at the park behind the stadium. I know and hear where coons are ran from by hound dogs and where wild pigs are shot. I travel gravel roads in my pick up truck and listen to music with my windows rolled down too.

I’m in Tula tonight and it’s pretty quiet. A cousin is here spending the night with Rilee at the cabin and I can hear them giggle as they are watching TV and talking. Maddux is asleep on the couch with the window’s air conditioner still going. Its steady hum is mixed with the bugs around the tress of the pond. I’m sitting on the dock and I hear catfish roll below me under my feet. The bullfrogs are starting to grow and mature and they let me know from their calls. I see no moon and maybe a few stars. The temperature is perfect and a breeze is slight. The pond has mirrored the sky from its dark blue light. It’s the end of my night. It’s been a perfect night; just another Mississippi summer night.

Shane Brown

Shane Brown is a contributor and the son of noted author Larry Brown. Shane is an Oxford native with Yocona and Tula roots. Shane is a graduate of Mississippi State University. He has two children — Maddux, age 9, and Rilee, age 7 — and makes his home at “A Place Called Tula.” He can be reached at

Copyright Shane Brown, 2015.

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