…in the Chattahoochee

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There is an old spiritual from the early days of the US that talks about wading in the water.  The chorus goes like this:

Wade in the water, wade in the water, children; Oh wade in the water, God’s a gonna trouble the water.

The song relates to both the Old and New Testaments. The verses reflect the Israelites’ escape out of Egypt as found in Exodus:14. The chorus refers to healing: see John 5:4, “For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.”

Many Internet sources and popular books claim that songs such as “Wade in the Water” contained explicit instructions to fugitive slaves on how to avoid capture and the route to take to successfully make their way to freedom. This particular song allegedly recommends leaving dry land and taking to the water as a strategy to throw pursuing bloodhounds off one’s trail. It has repeatedly been reported that Harriet Tubman, who helped hundreds of slaves flee to the North, sang this spiritual as a warning to runaway slaves so she might be its author.

Well, today’s photo has nothing to do with that, but I shot this on Sunday afternoon while watching my two youngest grand daughters play along the edges of the Chattahoochee River in Norcross, GA. This fisherman isn’t trying to flee slavery…but perhaps he was trying to flee from chores around the house! Either way, I hope he caught something. The water was cold, but I liked the way the light lit up his fly-fishing line.

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY:  in 1952, Ernest Hemingway completed his short novel The Old Man and the Sea. He wrote his publisher the same day, saying he had finished the book and that it was the best writing he had ever done. The critics agreed: The book won the Pulitzer Prize in 1953 and became one of his bestselling works.

The novella, which was first published in Life magazine, was an allegory referring to the writer’s own struggles to preserve his art in the face of fame and attention. Hemingway had become a cult figure whose four marriages and adventurous exploits in big-game hunting and fishing were widely covered in the press. But despite his fame, he had not produced a major literary work in a decade before he wrote The Old Man and the Sea. The book would be his last significant work of fiction before his suicide in 1961.

Hemingway, born in 1899 in Oak Park, Illinois, started working as a reporter for the Kansas City Star in 1917. When World War I broke out, he volunteered as an ambulance driver for the Red Cross and was severely wounded in 1918 on the Austro-Italian front while carrying a companion to safety. He was decorated and sent home to recuperate.

Hemingway married the wealthy Hadley Richardson in 1920, and the couple moved to Paris, where they met other American expatriate writers, including F. Scott Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein, and Ezra Pound. With their help and encouragement, Hemingway published his first book of short stories, in the U.S. in 1925, followed by the well-received The Sun Also Rises in 1926.

During the 1930s and ’40s, the hard-drinking Hemingway lived in Key West and then in Cuba while continuing to travel widely. He was wounded in a plane crash in 1953, after which he became increasingly anxious and depressed. Like his father, he committed suicide, shooting himself in 1961 in his home in Idaho.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: Most of us dream every 90 minutes, and the longest dreams (30-45 minutes) occur in the morning.

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