Wednesday, March 19, 2008

St. Marys - Step Into Her Light

Southern Georgia. Even the words fall sweetly on the tongue like the juice of a sun-ripened peach or a seductively rich Pinot Noir. This is the land that captured the hearts of writers such as Sidney Lanier, Flannery O’Connor, Alice Walker––the list is as long as the evening shadows. It is a world of deep mystery, open hearts and inspirational views. It is an enigma, a benison and a way of being.
The citizens of Historic St. Marys, Southern Georgia’s most luminous star, walk through their lives bathed in the light that is particular to this land of marsh, river and sea. This celestial presence, both corporeal and visceral, beckons the photographer, writer, artist and dreamer within us all.
The shifting hues of St. Marys form a captivating palette of color and mood. On a rare, rain-soft day there’s no better beginning than a long, lingering
waterfront breakfast at The Riverside Café. The aroma of coffee twines about the scent of the sea while we gaze at the shimmering brushed-pewter of sky and river. The Cumberland Queen departs and her farewell salute echoes in the misty air.
After breakfast, we walk to the long dock that stretches out into the marsh and pause to look in wonder still. One never ceases to be entranced by this endless vista, for the marsh that sweeps toward the Florida coast shifts and
alters hourly as the changing light paints upon its canvas. This rare ecosystem is the jewel in the crown of the Low Country—alive with growth, birth, change, renewal and infinite beauty.
Another morning, drenched in the dew-soaked light of a new day, magnolia trees reflect the sun from their rich foliage while the palms capture the rays and toss them back like diamonds into the air. Bougainvilla and hibiscus
blossoms drink in the moisture as the earth prepares itself for the noon heat. Even then, in the mid-day intensity of light and warmth, there is that which delights the eye within the shadows of massive live oaks draped in Spanish moss. It is a unique interplay of color and depth, known only in this land of entrancing contradictions.
Then there is the “Magic Hour,”
the legendary time of golden light and violet hue that whispers to the artist in every soul. All pause to savor this exquisite delight of warm evening breezes, cocktails on the front porch, children’s voices, neighbors waving
as they stroll by. This is St. Marys
at her most captivating—a small
town cradled within “the vast sweet visage of space” (Sidney Lanier).
We invite you to experience a place and a way of being that will captivate and enthrall. But be warned, though you may leave St Marys, you will do so altered in some profound way for there is no leaving this “Brigadoon” without carrying her within your heart forever.

Special thanks to Alex Kearns for
these sentiments that so beautifully
capture another dimension of the magic of St. Marys.