In 2006, I moved to the Georgia Coast. I never really gave much thought to Georgia having a coast prior to packing up. I was, after all, 22. I really hadn’t given much thought to anything.
I had just finished college in Troy, Alabama. I packed my bags and rolled out from my hometown of Enterprise, Alabama.
Fun fact: Enterprise, Alabama, is known for being “the only city in the world with a monument to an insect” — the Boll Weevil Monument. Fashioned after a bug who had the foresight to swoop in and eat up all our cotton, rerouting our attention to peanuts which became the new cash crop. It’s true, and has been a more-frequent-than-expected Jeopardy query. #TheMoreYouKnow
But I did. I moved. I shook the the red clay of Alabama off my feet and I came to live in this lovely land because my then-boyfriend, now-husband (13 years in October!) was an engineer working on the expansion of the interstate here. And I knew from the moment I first stepped out of the car, that this place was special. It wasn’t just the trees or the moss or the sand or the ocean. Meaningful things happened here. I could feel it … I still can.
We’ve now been here many years and “here” is home. It makes me incredibly proud to share this place with others … virtually or in person (as life allows). I think they all quickly discover that this place is one of deep connections and a complicated history. But the beauty … ah, the beauty sweeps us all away.
There has been so much darkness in recent months. So much so, dear reader, I wasn’t sure I could ever climb out of the despair. But it was the beauty of this place — and its people — that has lifted me up and made me realize that we will all be OK.
As we Georgians, emerge from this — let’s try to move slower, steadier, and with greater purpose. Let’s get rid of all of those frivolous worries. If nothing else, let this make us take stock of what matters and what does not.
For me, the beauty and the history of this land (home to many who have endured very dark days), is a living breathing inspiration and assurance that we are, in fact, going to make it. This land withstood the evils of slavery and segregation, as well as epidemics like malaria and the Spanish Flu. It withstood World War I and II. In fact, we made Liberty ships for the latter in the Brunswick harbor. If anyone has “got this,” we have.
And that’s precisely what this issue is meant to highlight — the fact that we got this. You have to be strong to stand against the darkness. And we are strong.
In these pages you will discover how we have loved our way through this pandemic, taking time to nurture one another, and how this land offers hope and light for a brighter tomorrow.
All my love —