Greenville South Carolina was originally an Indian trading station established in the late 1700s. By 1917, it was the "Textile Center of the South." Now, for some, it is a place to winter; come late spring, a location to leave, journeying out into the unknown.
Last Saturday the Mighty Bug and I motored south from Charlotte 90 miles or so to visit friend Doug Hoyt, who is a chef, thinker and nomad, currently resting in a wooden house in the woods. It is a house Doug and his son Oscar
own and are fixing up, so the extended family can live there and grow. This includes Oscar's wife Olivia, son Oscar and newborn daughter Victoria.
And let's not forget Cassie, the sweet girl who has been Doug's companion since she was a "pot-bellied pup" and who is now 16.
Doug was in the kitchen cooking when I arrived. So I sat near where he was working and petted Cassie. Doug prepared shrimp. We talked about life and traveling and where the world is going. Lamb was in the oven, chicken marinating, incense burning and conversation about politics and the possibility of his attending chef school, with maybe six months spent in Italy, if paperwork goes through.
Late afternoon, we ate good food, relaxing on the massive wooden porch in the cool damp air. There was talk about Darwin
and a fish story or two
and little Oscar spoke about becoming a scientist.
The lad also likes to take photos, like another smart child I know. Some children have "the eye," the ability to capture what is real, like his mother's love
and Cassie on the path
H.G. Wells wrote, "To be honest, one must be inconsistent." Some of us fight to keep that eye open, to not lose sight of what is really around us. And that means leaving, finding solitude, and returning once more to rest in a green place.
Doug will soon be off on a journey west, lumbering along in his truck, pulling a camper, his home for the last 12 years, behind him as he motors with the big rigs on Rt. 40, through the green of Colorado, the bones of the desert, to the freshness of Oregon and Washington state, then on to see ice as he hikes to the higher elevations of British Columbia.
Travel, journey. To seek mountains far away from settled, supposedly sane places. The world is enormous.
Yesterday, on this east coast beach near where I sit writing, middle-aged men stood in the water, surrounded by wave noise. Up to their knees in thought. It seems to me they do not know where else to go. So they stood still, and the water waved about them. It is the same sound that moves through the fir trees on some northern timberline. Near some memory we may have forgotten, but can still move towards.