MICHAELA MORRIS: World comes together in country picnic

On Saturday, some friends hosted a picnic at their Auburn community home.

It’s a lovely spot, a simple country home with a little pond and a relaxing spirit.

The weather was glorious as late September often is in Mississippi.

The temperatures had dropped in the “it’s a joy to be outside” range. The morning’s rain seemed far away.

Several folks hovered over the two sets of grills, preparing to feed hungry guests. A pack of kids – joined by a few grown ups – improvised a roving game of dodge ball in the yard.

Tables were draped with orange table cloths. Scarecrows and pumpkins finished off the cheerful fall decor. It wasn’t fussy, but it was festive.

It could have been a late summer, early fall barbecue anywhere in Northeast Mississippi. Old acquaintances were renewed. New connections were made among friends of friends. One set of out-of-town friends got lost, but made it in time for supper. By the end of the night, everyone was full of great food and contentment.

The people at the party, literally came from around the world.

The hosts originally hail from Taiwan, although they’ve called Tupelo home for a decade. There were folks from Oregon and Amory. There were friends who came from Malaysia and Taiwan via Birmingham, Ala., and Houston, Texas. In addition to English and Cantonese, there were Japanese and Spanish spoken in that little corner of the Auburn community on Saturday night.

These days when we sense the world is shrinking, it’s often because we hear about horrible things happening a world away. Terrorists invading a Kenyan mall or chemical weapons being deployed in Syria can make us feel helpless and hopeless about the state of humanity.

But on Saturday night, we helped our friends celebrate the Moon Festival, and it felt like the world was small in the best possible way. Where people who grew up a world apart could come together to share a meal and friendship.

The evening ended with violin and fiddle tunes offered up by a talented musician.

Before he played the “Farewell” song, he offered up “Amazing Grace,” and everyone sang along.

Maybe it wasn’t so different from other Northeast Mississippi Saturday night picnics.

Michaela Gibson Morris is a Daily Journal reporter. Contact her at (662) 678-1599 or michaela.morris@journalinc.com.