"We live in a beautiful place." How often do you say or hear that?
I find myself saying it a lot - most often after returning home after a visit to anywhere else, and after getting stuck in traffic to the point that I never want to leave ever again.
But what is it that makes this place beautiful?
Let's start with sunsets. Have you been watching those gorgeous, brilliant pink-orange-golden sunsets lately? The Lowcountry skies just sing with the most magnificent colors sometimes, don't they?
Recently, after a long day at the office, I caught a glimpse of a magnificent sunset in my rearview mirror. As soon as I possibly could, I pulled over into an open viewing spot and just sat there in my car to just drink it in. I was mesmerized.
After just five minutes, I could feel that my stress level had plummeted, I was all smiles, and feelings of gratitude washed over me.
I think early risers feel the same with each glorious sunrise. I admit I haven't seen too many of those in person. Thankfully, a friend who walks his dog on the beach every morning posts his photos of many a spectacular sunrise on social media.
We are blessed here to have wide open spaces, often over large bodies of water, over which to view these fabulous works of art.
Our waterways are another source of consistent beauty. Not only is it relaxing to be on or near the water, but the sights we behold are lovely and relaxing. I think of shore birds in flight, marsh grasses dancing on tidal ripples, dolphins gliding alongside a boat.
On land, especially in spring and summer, it doesn't take us long to find beauty in nature. Our gardens and landscapes show off our temperate climate with our variety of flowers, grasses, trees and shrubs. One of my favorites is the crepe myrtles, sporting luscious shades of pink, white and magenta in their poufy flowers atop graceful limbs.
Birds - oh, the birds! - squirrels, horses, even the sometimes pesky deer and raccoons, each bring their own brand of beauty to our community.
But you know what I think is the most beautiful thing about our community? It's the people.
There are so, so many generous, nurturing, thoughtful, talented, gracious, amazing people who call the Lowcountry home.
You can find them nearly everywhere you look. They are teachers, police officers, banking professionals, cashiers, moms and dads, sons and daughters, baristas, caregivers, writers, doctors and nurses, leasing agents, computer geeks, photographers and other artists, musicians, tour guides, retirees, bakers and cooks, yoga instructors, veterans, surfers, high school students, theatre people - the list is endless.
(If I didn't describe you, and you are a wonderful person, please know that my space here is limited and I'm trying to generalize, not to omit any group in particular. On the other hand, it was intentional that I didn't mention snarky people.)
As I write this, I'm beginning to think maybe it's not so much the traffic "out there" that makes me want to never go anywhere else. The big draw is the beauty - in all its forms - of this amazing community we call home.