The Idle Island of Daufuskie

The Idle Island of Daufuskie

I am fascinated by isolated places and the people who call those places home. What draws them there? And what makes them stay? One remote island I visited recently has a literary connection. Daufuskie Island, South Carolina, is the actual setting of Pat Conroy’s 1972 memoir The Water is Wide (in which the island is…

A Joyful Noise

A Joyful Noise

My mother could not sing, never hit one right note, never had any musical training whatsoever. But still, she sang with all of her heart and soul and with any improvised microphone laying around within reach. A spatula, a large spoon, a baton, a borrowed cane. It didn’t matter. She just needed a prop for…

Fire on the Horizon

Fire on the Horizon

The view from High Knob Fire Tower is worth the hike—with or without fires. Miles and miles of horizon, hills, and heaven, all under a canopy of clouds that drift in and out of relevance. I hiked this trail with my sister and her family in May this year. The verdant brush with hopeful buds…

Chasing Butterflies

Chasing Butterflies

Happiness is like a butterfly: the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder. J. Richard Lessor, author, social worker (often attributed to Henry David Thoreau) There I am in my five-year-old glory, having already captured…