“My wound is geography. It is also my anchorage, my port of call.”
Oh, Mr. Conroy. Your words about our Southland are inked perfectly. And perfect words for many an occasion – Baby Napp’s second birthday notwithstanding.
When you are a child of the Low Country, and Bluffton’s marshes, rivers and light all ebb and flow daily, Pat Conroy’s entre into his novel, The Prince of Tides, is all too apropos.
“I grew up slowly beside the tides and marshes of Colleton; my arms tawny and strong from working long days on the shrimp boat in the blazing South Carolina heat… I was born and raised on a Carolina sea island and I carried the sunshine of the low-country, inked in dark gold, on my back and shoulders. As a boy I was happy about the channels, navigating a small boat between sandbars with their quiet nation of oysters exposed on the brown flats at the low watermark. I knew every shrimper by name, and they knew me and sounded their horns when they passed me fishing in the river.”
With those words, I reflect back on this child’s little life – yet a grand one in return. William Napp Yelton came to us at a perfect time. Not just a perfect time but as a “good and perfect gift.” God knew that we would need Napp – thus boundless joy, hope springing eternally, the precious love of a child for us all to bask in and the never ceasing delight this child brought to us – for what was in store in the coming months.
What would be better than celebrating this Low Country boy than with an oyster roast and fixins too from his Georgia roots too! Every day, I wonder with selfish hope if Maggie and Zach will call and say, “Guess what, Brubbs, we’re moving back to Perry!” And every time I am in Bluffton, I see the sun set over the May River, watching the cadence of light and sky over the marshes turning light into liquid. I taste the salt air as it fills my lungs with sulphurous perfume delectable only to us Southerners soulfully surrendered to the Low Country’s spell. And, I know these salty airs rise from brackish waters filling our bellies with jewels of the river and sea. I taste and see and inhale the Carolina Low Country and know that particular call from my sister and brother-in-law is not coming anytime soon.
So… we must go to them. And gladly do so. And roast oysters, pile chicken salad upon platters, fill bowls with barbeque and serve pans of pimento cheese. As Mr. Conroy also said, “There are no ideas in the South, just barbeque.” I couldn’t agree more! Ha!
Y’all enjoy a journey to Bluffton with these pics of Baby Napp’s second birthday. As in true Southern tradition, we’ll probably keep calling him Baby Napp well into his forties. We can’t help our ways down here, we’re wounded by geography. Happy Birthday, Baby Napp! Uncle Brubbs loves you to the moon and back and back again! And then back again and again!