By Cherimie Crane Weatherford
Loading my most precious cargo into our boat heading out for a day of all that Beaufort has to offer the irony wasn’t lost, even on me. What was once a simple decision has now become an art form in essential packing, snack creating and strategic sunscreen application. As her chubby little feet hurriedly scamper down the dock and her eyes widen with anticipation of even a glimpse of a dolphin, I can’t help but think back.
I would be hard pressed to find one salty soul that was without an ‘on the water’ story. Impossible it seems for life to escape moments lent and memories created by our fascination with being where the wild things are. The pull is unmistakable as we gaze out into the remarkable canvas that is Beaufort, South Carolina. Perhaps human nature is to go where we aren’t naturally suited, to tame and to claim anything that fails to require our power, our attention or our control. Regardless, every single one of us has a story that began, enhanced or ended on the water.
Somewhere around ten years ago my story began. Weary from all work and no play, suffering from being new in a tightly knit town, I received an invitation to celebrate Memorial Day on the water. Having no plans and no tan, I failed to see benefit in declining. It was as if I was seeing my new town for the very first time. How did I not know that the sun danced in silver shoes across the meandering river? How had I been blind to the vast shades of green climbing up and down the sea grass? How had I lived in this treasure by the sea, never seeing her crown jewel?
Worries lessened as land distanced itself along with the hustle of life created for the hustle itself. My senses delighted in the most stunning displays of art. It was that day I went from moving to Beaufort to actually living in Beaufort. My feet sank in the sand, my hair whipped in the wind and my address was cemented in the place that water meets land. Beaufort became home.
While being in awe of Mother Nature boasting her most intricate quilt of sand and sea, another salty soul appeared. With careless hair and curious glare, a barefoot, sun drenched fisherman made his introduction. Little did I know my “on the water story” would lead to chubby feet scampering down a dock. There is no escaping our fascination and fondness of all that lies beyond and below. Beaufort is the perfect place for story beginnings as the water flows through them like chapters towards an end. It is impossible to ignore the effect of such a phenomenon. We are surrounded by it, intrigued by it and often submerged in its effect, one way or the other.
As the days lengthen and the hems shorten, may you too, find yourself on the water. Whether at the beach, a weather worn dock or from the bow of a boat, let the silver shoes dance and the seagrass bend. Fly your flags high as we remember those that sacrificed so that our toes can dangle, our skin can warm and our stories can continue on the water. Happy Memorial Day Beaufort, South Carolina.
Cherimie Crane Weatherford, owner of SugarBelle boutique, Real Estate Broker and observer of all things momentous and mundane lives on Lady’s Island with her golfing husband, dancing toddler and lounging dogs.