Mardi Gras has begun and many Mobilians have moonpies, beads, and the procession of floats down the streets of Mobile on their minds. But this afternoon I am sitting here on the banks of Steele Creek watching my family fish while a parade of a different sort is going on just on the other side of the creek. The wintry weather has given way to warmer days this week and spring fever has infected many of us. It is compelling us to get outside into the warm sunshine and fresh air. Too long we've been help captive inside the four walls of the stale houses where we take our refuge from winter. This is evident by the number of boaters waiting to launch while others await their turn to leave having already enjoyed their turn at freedom.
It's a beautiful sight in its own right. Boats of all different colors, boats of many sizes, old boats, new boats, some that aren't boats at all, but rather they are deemed personal watercraft instead, all gracefully sitting on the water, carrying their passengers to one destination to another and making a parade of their own today.
And in this parade, instead of the sounds of the revelers crying "throw me something Mister", it's the various fisherman calling to each other "Are they bitin' for ya' today?" Instead of the sounds of the marching bands, it is the music of the boat engines I hear. Some idling smoothly while others spit and sputter in stark contrast to the peaceful sounds of the birds chirping in the trees behind me.
Interspersed with the boats in today's parade there are the beautifully feathered ducks gracefully, seemingly effortlessly, gliding past.
It may not yield the moonpies, doubloons, and other trinkets that make Mardi Gras so much fun. But sharing this parade with my family is a treasure I wouldn't trade for all the Mardi Gras haul in the world!