Lingering on Hilton Head Island is a simple but congenial abandonment. Yet I find it achieves the height of prosperity to have nothing to do but seize the moment. At this late stage of my life it is a commission of welcome interest, accommodation and engagement. Frankly I can think of absolutely nothing more pleasant and diverting nor more respectful of the uncertain vicissitudes of life. It is an obligation void of anything rapacious or vulgar. It has a natural element which invigorates that of which one so often hears others so knowingly opine to visit upon themselves; viz., the often poetic ingredients of sunshine, fresh air and a crashing ocean.
Today was indeed one of those days without purpose other than gloating over what was at the doorstep so to speak, a candid and uneventful commitment akin to that of a bird on the wing fulfilling its natural and only purpose, unpremeditated, free of prior assessment or subterfuge and design. This is no small compliment to one such as I who is almost instinctively – or at the very least, historically – clouded by objective and results, perhaps the painful provocations of the sole practitioner, the sometimes touted “individual” in society, he who seemingly acquits himself of all but calculated nourishment often at the cost of gratuitous beneficence.
I was reminded again today that the coast of the North Atlantic Ocean is forever changing, that if it were not for the acquaintance I already have with many of the beach houses and flag poles along the way, the shore would be unrecognizable one day to the next. The magnitude and veritable violence of the sea seemingly works its bent overnight and from one tide to the next, leaving in its path what is primarily a chiseled and polished artistic creation.
Upon this vast horizon I was of a sudden confronted by the yearning fuzzy face of a Golden Retriever who, when I patted her head, was instantly joined by her sister seeking the identical approbation which I was only too willingly to oblige. The mistress of the two soon joined the now excitable congregation and we all lapsed into the customary observations about dogs generally and these in particular. Unquestionably it is a collateral of the recent evaporation of the New Year’s crowd that those of us who remain on the Island soon cultivate a more immediate convention among one another.
Extracting oneself from these incomparable circumstances is never easy but my antique limbs are of increasingly limited mobility. I exited this idyllic stage at Sea Pines Beach Club and returned to Harbour Town for another evening, itself full of promise.