1: An open gate
am the accidental tourist that stumbled into Savannah like a lost soul, searching
for home, for comfort, for freedom. Freedom from complacency, routine, boredom.
From snow. When time ran out on the place where I had been living for several
years, and the familiar faces I had known were strangers to me even more than
before, I found myself catapulting through the sky, on a journey of bravery, a
leap of faith, a sprig of luck and a prayer for deliverance.
with a thud, in the middle of a city smaller than the one I had left behind, but
bigger by far in the way it conducted itself. The trees were bigger, great looming
leviathans of endless branches with Spanish moss for hair, leaning over the city,
holding on to its secrets, hushing your questions.
you don't ask questions in Savannah, I learned right away. They tell you what
you need to know, but you're not to ask. They don't come right out and say it,
but you know that's the way it is.
was no place waiting for me like I had arranged. It disappeared with the morning
haze, a haze that clings to the air and drapes you with dew the minute you step
outside. They say the heat is unbearable, but only if you are not willing to ignore
it. Or adapt. No amount of stripping down will make it any more comfortable, for
here, the heat is in that moisture, and it sticks to you, smothers you and dares
you to complain.
night falls, and the other difference from the north to the south arrives. In
droves if you look in the right places. They are Savannians too, the Palmetto
Bugs. The live in the trees. They fly. They are everywhere. And they are big.
think, dear God, how did I end up here? When can I leave? Why did I leave? There
is nothing, only the hush and sway of the moss in the distant ocean breeze. I
feel her call to me. I hear her in my heart, my mother, the Atlantic. She awaits
Part 2: The heart of the ocean