I spent the last few weeks organizing myself to rejoin mainstream society. We brought the boat to rest in the fabled Marshes of Glynn, where we currently reside between Brunswick and St. Simons Island in coastal Georgia.
It’s a real place, let me tell you, with a dynamic environmental and political scene. This stretch of coast retains a large portion of the remaining salt marsh on the US Atlantic coast and a thriving wild-caught shrimp industry, in addition to rare and magical ecosystems like “interdune meadow” and “marsh hammock”. It’s the kind of place where you might see a unicorn, but in the process you will get covered in bug bites, misplace an hour or two gossiping with a neighbor, and ultimately tuck in at an all-you-can-eat oyster joint by sundown.
So far, coastal Georgia has welcomed me with open arms, and I’ve found opportunities that meet my financial, social and spiritual needs. Which is to say, I found a planning job. I am doing some research/policy analysis for One Hundred Miles, an advocacy organization that is doing really exciting work down here.
But before that happened, I spent a few weeks alone in the boat.
Last month, Fabio went on a delivery, meaning that he joined a crew tasked with transporting a beautiful luxury yacht from one sunny Caribbean island to another at the behest of the yacht’s owner. He was away from SY Tranquility, and me, for about two weeks. I spent that time in search of my own bit of work and trying to figure out what’s up in this strange world of Sea Islands and wild ponies.
I spent a good chunk of each day writing on the boat – proposals, applications, various iterations of resume, and an epic personal statement (available on request). I found myself in a deep meditation on “Sea Level Living”, as I scanned my new horizon, the teeming golden marsh. The massive victory of our arrival faded, and the details of our trip bubbled up – so many people, places and things.
Meanwhile, a rotation of bird species populated my vista, each with their own rhyme and reason. Our resident pelicans educated me on the term “plunge dive”, a perfect description of their bombardier feeding style. The Hooded Merganser pairs enjoy the calm spaces between boat slips where they wet their beaks and preen their punk rock hairdos. In a sudden turn that evokes John Wayne and the Wild West, high noon brings a population of sateen male crows, each staking out a mast or other high point from which to broadcast their midday caws. I became acquainted with each phase of the welcoming committee, and over time came to anticipate the changing of the guard.
Now I greet them in the morning and evenings, on my way to and from town. I don’t know what the specific outcomes of my time behind a desk might bring, but I am highly motivated by my marsh residence. The experience that we have had, the absolute privilege of seeing this environment intact and witnessing first-hand the rich traces of history and culture that exist only here, should survive us and then some.