It is Christmas Eve on Hilton Head Island. A tranquillity has descended upon the Island, a stillness which reflects the restful time of year as well as the dense early morning fog which has only now partially dissipated. I have quelled my daybreak effusiveness for Christmas greetings by systematic emails to almost every friend or acquaintance of stature on my Contact list. It is decidedly an occasion to share cheerfulness with others and in some instances to strengthen frayed ties. I also telephoned my elderly mother and played for her some sorrowful Christmas carols on my electronic keyboard!
The uncommon humidity and high temperatures here today produced a soft atmosphere, gently insinuated by the classical Christmas overtures, choirs and orchestrations streaming in the background. Having concluded our breakfast and coffee we prepared to take our regular bike ride, our morning constitutional (though admittedly we were already approaching the noon hour). But on Christmas Eve there is a tolerable lethargy. The languor did not however prevent us from fulfilling this daily prescription, as much a routine as a drug.
Meanwhile up North family and friends prepare to engage in a frenzy of festivities. Already some of those events have been marred by the implacable stain of humanity and I have no doubt that within the next 48 hours tempers and patience will be taxed to the extreme. I divert myself from the mere contemplation of those Saturnine clashes by peacefully resting my eyes upon the palm trees, garden ferns, sea grasses and the tranquillizing waters of Calibogue Sound.