I could feel the eyes watching me from the trees, an ever present gaze over my shoulder. It almost seemed as if the trees were filled with elves. “Spirits” is what the locals call them and they are scattered in areas throughout the island, faces carved in the knots of trees. Finding them can be a scavenger hunt of sorts, giving meaning to a cloudy day and although I wasn’t on a mission to find all. of them, I did want to use them as a reason to explore.
The first one I found was located near the city park, nestled inside of the parking lot. Baseball fields surrounded the playgrounds and children ran around laughing. It was such a different atmosphere from the one I had been in for the past couple of months and had only started seeing smiles on faces recently. What a change that makes on the energy of a place. This isn’t a comment on the efficiency of masks, simply an acknowledgment that we have evolved to socially communicate through facial expressions and once again having the ability to do that really made me happy.
Before I knew it, I found myself walking along the shore. A heavy wind blew across the water sending waves plummeting toward shore. The wind was so strong it could almost push me over and I enjoyed fighting against it as I watched the local gulls soar throughout the air.
Water always seems to bring with it a sense of calmness, at least for me it does. No matter how heavy the current, the seemingly endless ocean reminds me how big the world is and with that, how small I am. I enjoy remembering that fact. It causes me to stay humble.
Along this park was another tree spirit, this one a mermaid. I imagined that she came from the ocean long ago, beckoned by the new settlers that seemed to leave the land and live both on it and in the ocean. Amazed by them she tried to follow them to shore only to get stuck in this tree for eternity.
Later that evening, I ended up on the other side of the island visiting Fort Frederica, an old military fort on the edge of the island. Watching the rhythmic motion of the marsh grasses blowing in the wind sent me into a meditative trance. I had just been at Fort Morris a couple days before and my mind continued to contemplate what it would have been like to live at that time.
I spent some time sitting in one of the structures that the residents used in the past. Consisting of nothing besides some branches holding up a blanket of leaves and a small cot underneath, I couldn’t imagine what living inside it during these winter months would have been like. The heavy wind bit at my neck and even with my modern clothing, I felt the chill run down my spine.
I decided to take a hike through one of the old forest paths that had been formed over centuries of people walking the seven mile stretch across the island. As I pushed deeper, the combination of the water soaked ground and overgrown foliage offered a sense of what the world would have been like and I thanked the stars that I was here in the winter. I could only imagine how unbearable the humidity and mosquitos would be in the summer. Here on this path, I was alone with my thoughts and civilization seemed miles away.
As I exit the forest, the sun beams down like a spotlight, warming the world around me. Not far ahead I can see an old canon turret with a few buildings around. Interestingly, they are all made out of a cement concocted from sea shells, another reminder of the ingenious use of local resources by settlers.
The scent of salt fills my nostrils as I walk along the shore. The ambience of this fort makes me so thankful for what the world is like today, at least here in the United States. I think about our modern clothes and technology, the general rise in living conditions as well as prosperity that most of us enjoy. I think we often forget how crummy the life of was for all people in the past and how much more we have today. These thoughts often plague the depths of my mind yet they remind me to attempt to stay humble.
I look over the horizon as the wind picks up and I see clouds start to come over the sky. The chill that bit at my neck earlier returns, pushing me back to my car and onto my next destination.
Closest Supercharger Brunswick GA
380 Millennium Blvd, Brunswick, GA 31525
St Simmons Island