When I was a boy I was convinced that when God decided to make the world He started with Arkansas. The Tigris and Euphrates rivers were merely nicknames for the Ouachita and the Mighty Mississippi that hemmed in our corner of the Delta. And the first man, Adam, likely lived somewhere between West Memphis and the Louisiana line.
After all, the Good Book was quite emphatic, “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” The preacher man at our local Missionary Baptist Church often waxed eloquent on the subject as his forehead gleamed and small tufts of foam grew in the edges of his mouth like the bright white cotton bulbs in the fields around the meeting house.
“Adam was God’s first field hand,” he once said. “The Lord made him out of deep red delta clay and then set him to work tending the garden. Before anything else, God made a farmer. He brought man alive out of the dirt and then He taught that man how to get life out of the ground for himself.”
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