I got up before dawn today – and in a good mood no less! While I’m not exactly a morning person, the natural rhythm of camping is definitely early to bed, early to rise. And when you’re camping in a place as pretty as this, it’s hard not to be in a good mood.
I’m in the Francis Marion National Forest in South Carolina, a large tract of pine forest and swampland that hugs the coast. My campsite is on the outermost edge, right along the water, which is this case, is the Intercoastal Waterway. As I look out from my tent, I see the vast tidal channel (which follows almost the entire length of the eastern seaboard) and on the other side of that is miles of gentle marsh that stretch out to the ocean.
It was chilly when I woke up this morning, and as I climbed out of the tent, I found myself awestruck by the moon, which was perched low in the sky – a gleaming crescent outlined by a soft, ethereal circle. The faintest glow of dawn was beginning to creep up along the horizon, and the moon seemed to admire her own reflection in the water.
I fumbled to make myself a cup of coffee, and then sat by the water to watch the day begin. Lavender wisps were brushed over a cerulean backdrop, and the orangey-pink glow of morning began to shine along the edge of sky and land. It gradually extended upward, pushing the moon out of the way. And then, just as two herons glided across the marsh, the sun peered over the quiet sea of grass as if to greet them.
Now, another day has come and gone, and I am in Savannah, GA. It’s New Year’s Eve, and I can guarantee you that I will not be staying up until midnight. In fact, I’ll be lucky if I stay awake until 8:00! I’m tired and weary from traveling, and I’ll be ringing in the New Year here in Skidaway Island State Park, huddled snugly in my tent, sound asleep.
Rob and I traveled here with our camper several years ago, and it’s nice to be in familiar territory. The park is full of huge live oaks adorned with Spanish moss, which droops lazily from the branches. Saw palmettos grow in and around them, with giant fronds like eyelashes that bat coyly at you as you pass by. It feels like an enchanted forest, where the woodland creatures speak in slow relaxed tones, and sip mint juleps together in the afternoon.
I can’t say that I have a resolution for 2014. I suppose you could say this trip is, in and of itself, sort of a resolution. Mainly, it’s a decision to embark on an adventure, whatever that entails. Whether or not you have your own resolution, I wish you all the best for a happy and healthy New Year.