Ocracoke has secrets. For those who have time, she may unveil herself slowly while her tide plays with the moon and her sun rises with an avian chorus. She never expects a routine. The Algonkin Indians fished and gathered; pirates Vane, Rackham, and Teach rationed, recovered, and rested; a fishing village sprouted. Now, as then, the estuaries, salt marshes, and grasslands quietly speak, soothe. Broad-leaved evergreen trees once canopied large swaths, now cool a few paths, share roots with the Tidal Red Cedar and Live Oaks; gnarled, ancient silhouettes that still rest against a horizon far-flung. My favorite shrub is the Magnolia Virginiana or sweet-bay (some say swamp-bay but that negates the romance). Ocracoke’s voice today is slowly being eroded by nature, more quickly by man. Some say one mad hurricane will sweep all away. Until then, I'll kayak past Teach’s Hole, bask in loblolly pine's leaning shade, walk white-sand beaches wind-swept clean and crisp, tilt my ear for incoming breeze upon heated neck and perhaps capture a few of her blue trembling secrets before my footprints wash away.
Horizon and dune cradle a blue trembling(s)
promise to cleanse secrets and souls
by Margaret Bednar, April 12, 2016