I didn’t, though it wasn’t without trying.
“Where are all the people?” we asked when we rushed to hit the beach Saturday night, not at all certain we were on the right side of Tybee although there really isn’t a wrong side of Tybee, ever.
There’s only a wrong time to get to Tybee, like the afternoon of the late May Beach Bum Parade.
“Waiting for the moon?” we asked one man, trying to get a clue of the proper location in the sky without appearing too bereft of celestial knowledge, too stupid about where the moon rises and sets.
“Waiting for something,” he said, his bike casually leaning next to him on the wooden beach bench, which is close to being engulfed by Tybee’s growing sand dunes, also a good thing.
The next person we saw on the beach was there to take a walk and clear away the cobwebs of the day. He knew nothing of a lunar eclipse though he was open to the possibility.
Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans. Thank you, John Lennon.
Too late or too cloudy. One or the other. Always my story when i rush to see a phenomenon in the sky. It just does not happen.
But, oh, those clouds. They have put on a show this first week in March. Must be the moon effect, no?
Friday night they were lazy, crazy cotton balls floating in that deep blue early evening western sky.
Saturday night, in lieu of any visible eclipse, we saw the cotton balls again, this time spread out in all variations of purple and red.
It’s that kind of month, schizophrenic, bipolar, unable to make up its mind.
The next morning, a lazy Saturday morning, I sat at the Westin on Hutchinson Island and while eating breakfast and meeting with out of town travelers, I watched a 900-foot freighter obliterate the sky and the whole Bay Street cityscape. It was that tall, that loaded with product.
Back on the mainland, I walked home, at once too warm, too cold, in and out of a sweatshirt. Wending past tourists, I found myself in the garden where I rooted around eating curly-leafed parsley, popping sweet, blue borage flowers into my mouth, spitting out chicory leaves (too bitter!), racing an 11-year-old boy for any remaining sugar snap peas (although we saw plenty of white blossoms, which theoretically means there are more peas on the way), weeding around the young red lettuce leaves, trying to avoid the noxious stinging nettle, and wishing I could eat the yellow daffodils, they were that pretty, that appealing.
We even spotted a single gerber daisy.
Then, after finding an errant purple-top turnip inching out of the ground, I stand in awe as a friend whips out his pocketknife and slices up that turnip as if it were an apple. I swear, close your eyes and except for a final hint of heat (the turnip was, after all, way past its prime), you could have sworn it was an apple.
It’s that kind of month. You think it’s one thing and it turns out to be another.
March madness, to some a basketball tournament that never seems to end. To others a St. Patrick’s Day celebration, the best - and worst - holiday of the year. To still others, a music festival that only seems to get better.
Savannah, someone else says, is on the verge of a second awakening.
This epiphany comes as we stand, shivering, in front of Tim Woods’ gallery and home off Habersham Street, a simple and brilliant combination of wood, stucco, design and all the other buzz words - sustainable, green, holistic, affordable, prefabricated, passive solar, a perfect “partnership between nature and architecture.”
“This is the second coming of Savannah,” she blurts out of the blue as we stand looking up at the cotton-ball sky and in at the house , so neat, so compact, a jewel on a street of houses we’ve passed a million times without paying them any mind.
What’s the first? I ask, intrigued, knowing it’s not the traffic on a Friday afternoon or any afternoon of people motoring between Savannah and the west side of the county; knowing it’s not the continued and cutthroat competition for guns and control in city that sometimes feels like the wild, wild West.
“Sherman,” she answers.
I’m not sure what she means, really. But it has an interesting ring.
More than any other month, March, with its skies and temperatures, like Savannah, with its winks and wrinkles, can go either way.
We can only hope for the best.
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"And you deserve better."
Thanks, Jim, for my new campaign slogan.