On this spring visit to Rodney, the blooming wisteria was a constant presence, the vines tangling in profusion everywhere.
It turns out that wisteria is actually an invasive species in the United States. Originally from China, it is a trace of the domesticating urges of the French settlers in the 18th and 19th centuries.
I picture a slim, elegant, brave woman (she is French, after all!) making the long trip across the ocean to New Orleans and up the river to Rodney, holding her wisteria cuttings tidily on her lap, stroking them now and again. I picture her planting them by the side of her newly-erected house in a lumpy clearing — not backhoe-raw as the clearings new houses stand in nowadays — but still, a scarred open place carved out of the deep woods of Mississippi.
She can not quite imagine that her delicate and beautiful wisteria will survive in this remote place.
She can not imagine that her lovely wisteria will thrive to grow into wild vines that pull down walls and strangle large trees.
She can not imagine that one day the wisteria will be the last remaining trace of human settlement in the town of Rodney.