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Lunchtime on Daufuskie Island

The Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge is all about lunch this week. The challenge is to photograph any aspect of your lunchtime experience with a phone. One post, from Wind Against Current,  features two of my favorite bloggers having lunch on and off their kayaks in a variety of locations, and it got me thinking. Often, the quick snacks we have while in the middle of exploring new places involve the spontaneous use of whatever is at hand – sometimes resulting in a McGyver approach to lunch.

We were vacationing on the Carolina coast and decided to visit Daufuskie Island. One of the Sea Islands, it has no bridge, and that has protected it from the rampant growth of neighbors like Hilton Head Island. It’s a beautiful place where remnants of the old Gullah culture – an African culture that escaped assimilation because of the isolation of these islands – might still be seen, if you know where to look.  (Nearby,  St. Helena Island has kept Gullah culture alive at the Penn Center, a school opened in 1862 to educate freed slaves and made a National Historic Landmark in 1974.)

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That mid-July day was sunny and the beach was steaming hot.  A starfish seemed to mock our discomfort with a nonchalant wave:

We saw a message in the sand – I guess someone found that  perfect conch shell, but they didn’t want to lug it around in the heat.

A Willet eyed us and posed nicely.

We decided to take shelter behind the dunes under some scrubby cabbage palms. Scrounging through our backpacks, we found an apple, a small can of tuna & crackers, a little container of peanut butter I pocketed from the hotel breakfast bar, a bag of chips, and water. We wanted to share the apple but had no knife, so that tuna can lid made a good apple cutter. The shade sure felt good.

Refreshed, we walked back down the beach, then turned inland to walk sandy roads back to the dock. We had a boat to catch.

Near a tiny stream leading out to the beach, I found an old, neglected cemetery.

It was one of the old Gullah cemeteries, overgrown and beginning to wash away.

For Gullahs, burial near the water draws one closer to Africa, across the ocean;

graves may be lost to erosion over time,

but perhaps the loss more ours, for the history, than theirs

…perhaps the final wash into the sea cleanses and unites every being.

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The old oaks hold many secrets on Daufuskie.

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If you have a minute, take a look at some resources on this magical region of the U.S. Better yet – go there!

Daufuskie Island

its history

the graveyards

Gullah Culture, and more

and find more Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge submissions here.