I have not figured out why those first years after college seem to stick so well in one's memories, but I know that they do for me.
After graduating from college, I went off to Nova Scotia and lived in an old farm house on the shores of the Bay of Fundy along the North Mountain of the Annapolis Valley. In some ways it was a rejection of life in the big cities of the east, but mostly I had this desire to do something close to the land.
Perhaps my family had not been off the farm long enough for the pull of the land to be broken for me. Whatever the reason, the idea of living far from the big cities, growing my own food, and living close to the elements appealed to me. I certainly got a full dose of elements that someone from North Carolina could hardly imagine.
Now I have come full circle. I never would have dreamed back in 1971 that a large part of my career would be framed by the Washington Beltway. I remember well getting on a plane after visiting a friend there in 1973 and wondering if I would ever spend time in the city again. Little did I understand how many times that I would travel in on Interstate 66 in morning rush hour traffic. I never dreamed that I would have a ringside seat as Northern Virginia transformed itself.
Now I live in what could easily be called a natural paradise. Our world is dominated by the Croatan National Forest, the Atlantic Ocean, Cape Lookout National Seashore. It is easy to see on a map of the area how much green space and water is around or near us.
Then there is the White Oak River. While it looks small on my map, it is a large coastal river which is almost two miles wide near our home. A gut of the White Oak reaches into our subdivision and the river water is very close to our home. Much like those early years in Nova Scotia, the water, blue skies, and green grass seem to dominate life. Only the miles of sandy beach here are foreign to my early Nova Scotia experience.
There are times along Raymond's Gut when the light catches things just right and I am transported back to those Nova Scotia days. I actually really enjoy taking the time trip. Especially if I am out on the water in my kayak away from most hints of civilization, I can feel my cares slip away.
Not surprisingly those are the times I forget about the Internet and its overwhelming information and never turned off business community. Those moments that I slip back in time I can focus on just what is around me. The green pine trees, ever present marsh grasses, warm blue waters, and mostly gently breezes take control. It is a good feeling. There are no deadlines. No posts to check and no flyers to print.
Life in this century is full of pressure and it is good that sliding into the kayak can strip away some of those challenges and take me back to Nova Scotia and a time before life got so complicated and expensive.
The escape to another time, no matter how brief, is a welcome respite from the hyperactivity of our over connected world.
Maybe I am getting better at being able to escape since I do it so often. I certainly hope so because I do not see our world getting much easier to survive.
More about me and what I write is availabe at this link.