I’ve been on the road this week. I work in public education and one of the frills is these nice breaks we get every spring. I’ve spent mine traveling all over hell’s half acre. I left home early Monday morning headed for Clemson, SC. I got there in fourteen hours, spent the night at a Sleep Inn there. I drove eight-hundred miles only to awake to rain and gray skies. There’s a bit of humor in that for a guy who lives in one of the grayer spots on earth. I did make lemonade with the lemons that day and spent part of the morning and early afternoon trying to visit the campus of Clemson University and the South Carolina Botanical Gardens. They are beautiful and though I had to dodge quite a bit of rain I did get to see some of them.
I left Clemson Tuesday afternoon and drove toward Charleston and the South Carolina low country. Among other things I wanted to visit Mepkin Abbey at Moncks Corner, SC. I spent the overnight in Summerville, SC at another Sleep Inn and had lunch with some old friends who live in Summerville. It was a treat to meet our friend Michelle and her husband Mac. After lunch at Panera Bread in North Charleston, I made the trip to Mepkin. Having never been to the Abbey I didn’t exactly know what to expect, but I was left without words to describe the beauty and the peace of the surroundings there. I left Mepkin after spending most of the afternoon there and headed north toward Virginia but exactly where I wasn’t sure. A call to my wife convinced me that I should stop along the way in North Carolina and so I spent the night at a Microtel Inn at Wilson, NC. Yesterday morning I rose early had breakfast and headed north on Interstate 95. I hadn’t driven but ten miles when I saw a sign for Cape Hatteras National Seashore. I had heard of Hatteras, Nags Head and Kitty Hawk but never been there. I’m glad I made the trip. It’s beautiful there, but yesterday it was extremely windy. Maybe it alway is. I visited Kitty Hawk and the Wright Brothers Memorial and took the tour and then headed north on US 158 and later NC 168 toward the Virginia border. I connected with Interstate 64 and drove to Williamsburg, VA where I am now. Williamsburg is one of the constants in my life. I started coming here in 1961 with my parents and though I’m here alone this time it is a family favorite yet. My wife couldn’t make the trip and I miss her and the children. Coming here at 56 years young and alone is different, but I still love the flowers and the smells that make Williamsburg a special place in my heart.
I got up early this morning and attended a prayer and meditation meeting at the Parish House of Bruton Parish. I walked from the hotel where I am staying the nearly mile and a half to Bruton. It was a lovely morning for a walk as the sun rose and the birds were flying and singing. It was great to be alive this morning in the quiet peace of early morning in Williamsburg, VA.