In the Shadow of the Great Oak

Charleston, South Carolina, probably wouldn’t have been on our list of places to visit, unless a friend of ours had offered that we could stay with her mum. But as soon as we decided to head to the city, we started hearing great things about it.

I booked two gigs, we had a place to stay, and it was going to be gorgeous weather… what more could we want?

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Usually, we try to steer clear of the tourist spots. But, hosted by the wonderful Sylvia, who was born and raised in Charleston, we were given a tour of this European-style city through a local’s eyes – she knew the prettiest spots, the best food and lives right next to a quiet beach on the Isle of Palms.

We spent Sunday morning out kayaking on the blissful bay and were blessed to see graceful dolphins and a very protective mother osprey who warily saw us off from underneath her nest. A wonderful weekend, full of music, nature, new friends, great food and discovering the history of one of the USA’s oldest towns.

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But the town does have its darker side – the first shots of the civil war were fired against Fort Sumter from Charleston’s bay. They say the old Charlestonians still don’t really believe they lost the war! And in the centre of town is the port where almost 40,000 slaves were brought in and sold. It’s sad to think that so much of this great country was built on a inequality. And as racial tensions seem to have reached a new height in the past few months, we long for each of us to continue to move forward with peace, love and equality as our guiding pillars.

IMG_5201Charleston provided a great place for us to reflect. As we mark the one month milestone of our journey, we see that we are moving in the right direction, towards our goals – to be inspired and to inspire. We’ve driven over 3000 miles, and are on our way to the southernmost point of the continental USA.

As we sat under the Angel Oak, an ancient tree in South Carolina, I was reminded how short our lives our, in comparison with the all that history has seen:

oakIn the Shadow of the Great Oak.

Her branches have seen too much.

She seems to know, to feel, to whisper,

She stands long, old, proud;

Not moved by the days, not phased by our crises,

She counts the centuries on her branches.

A monument to time itself. 

LW

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