Though as I write this, spring has not yet arrived on the Outer Banks, there are hints of it. Last night as I walked around Manteo, the Blue Star Creeper, the groundcover with the fragrant blue flowers, was already blooming in several yards, emitting its sweet oniony aroma that is such a harbinger of warmer days to come. It seems early for that, but then again with the weather as crazy as it’s been lately, who knows? Perhaps it’s right on time! We’re almost used to weeks that start out in the 70s then end in the 30s. But I have so many friends here who are literally counting down the days to spring, dreaming of their first non-wetsuit dive into Mother Ocean.
But let’s not hurry things. This time of year on these islands is a lot of what probably keeps many locals here. We prepare for the coming summer season with its influx of thousands, but we revel in the empty beaches, the less-crowded restaurants, the trips from Nags Head to Corolla that take 40 minutes instead of more than an hour. We take time to see friends at local night spots and spend some extra time with our workouts. We visit art galleries and get out into nature more.
We know the warmth that brings all our visitors is coming, though. The restauranteurs we worked with for this issue are busy with their menus, the shopkeepers are making sure the right merchandise is on its way, the Y staff is helping clients get swimsuit ready, the vacation rental companies folks are constantly on the phone taking summer reservations, the accommodation owners are getting everything perfect. It’s a busy time!
Even more, then, to say again…let’s not hurry things. We can be busy but not hurried. Let’s keep our off-season state of being for as long as possible — of noticing the gaps between the actions, the pause amidst the achievements. There will be plenty of time to work and play hard under a hot sun.