I’m sitting at the edge of the marsh on Dataw Island, South Carolina. The tide is just retreating and in the distance, in deep water, three shrimp boats lower their nets. It’s raining, but only hard enough to unhinge a few leaves, annoy the alligators and disturb the piles of oyster shells that the raccoons dragged in last night, from the marsh, and struck open with rocks to access the silky nectar inside.
We arrived to my aunt’s home among the great sea islands of South Carolina yesterday. We’ll be here through Thanksgiving, then spend a week in Hilton Head.
Even though I grew up a true blue Yankee, my family has spent a lot of time in the last fifteen years down South. And this part of the country, with its straight-trunk wild-haired palmettos, humid breezes and tidal waters is what I miss the most when I’m away from the States. It’s true I’ve come to romanticize the South, which probably really set-in when I lived in Georgia, but I can’t help it. I’ve lived in a lot of places in my life, but my heart is really at home here.