by Christopher R. J. Worth

Lapping against the grain…foamy, blue, black as tar against the sky speckled with stars. Gentle breeze, the occasional human sound of trudging against sand. My eyes, my ears, my nostrils, are engaged. And this being realizes that he has been thrust into the moment right after the intelligent breath of life was gently kissed onto the barren rock which was the mass that we call Earth today.

With eyes turned to the sky, I imagine a being, something like an angel and something like a goddess, formed out of the gaseous body of the Milky Way. It plunges two fingers into it side to pull from it the stardust which would become life. This nimbus form would take the particles in its palm and with vigorous pulsating emotion it would bring palm to mouth and gently blow the stardust which was, I imagine, carried on a cosmic wave to the shores of the new Earth and one at a time the beings would find form. And so reality takes shape.

This was the beginning of my experience on Emerald Isle, North Carolina. It was a magical one, an interesting place which made me question many things, the most obvious being where I physically belonged. Of course I was filled with the zeal of finding a new emotion in this place, so I was not weighing the positive and negative aspects equally, of the seashore versus the mountains. But for the moment, nothing existed for me outside of a reflection on what makes humans settle where they do. All too often we think we settled in a place because of the practical. Our location is close to our job, family, and friends. But the truth is I think much more comic (or at least abstract) in nature.

For example, living in Huntington is not always easy for me or for anyone else that I interact with. It simply lacks a lot of modern choices which other places have readily available. Things like Whole Foods, an Apple Store, and entertainment outside of movie theaters and bars. Yes, we have a world renown art museum. The problem is simply that it is inaccessible to the ordinary person, and even more so to the physically challenged. So what keeps people here? Is it a safe place to raise a child? That’s questionable. Is it cheap? At first glance it may seem cheaper than other places, but if you take into account pay scale/cost of living/job opportunities, then one quickly realizes that Huntington isn’t the cheapest place for the average person. That’s not to say that for the wealthy it isn’t, but I wouldn’t know that. I am a member of the working class.

I offer the question again: what keeps a person here? I see something in this place that I have not recognized as strongly in other places that i’ve lived. I see possibility, potential, and one of the most creative communities I’ve ever experienced. That brings me to the point of this article. Sometimes what keeps you someplace, anyplace, is a kind of magnetic destiny. For what it’s worth, I think this is true for each and every individual operating on the spinning rock called Earth. We are to be where we are because we are there. We are to do what we do because we are meant to do it. To me, it’s not a god question as much as it is the realities of human energy and concentrations of that energy. People are brought to a place for a reason, just as people are brought together for a reason.

Before I get too abstract, I decided to look for another example of what I’m talking about. I didn’t realize that one would be right under my nose. My grandparents recently purchased a house on a lake in Abbingdon, Virginia. They both knew nothing about the place except that it was an artsy yet rural retirement magnet and was all the buzz for all those reasons in their circles. Now, let me introduce the strange element. My dad, who is our family historian, did some research and found that generations of his side of the family (including the grandparents I’m talking about) had moved to Abbingdon from various places. In fact, my dad found an entire graveyard populated mostly by distant relatives. Was it fate that my grandparents moved to Abbingdon? You decide.

Until next week! Reflections from the shore of Emerald Isle.


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