Updated: May 3, 2021
Sweat dripped off her upper lip as she reclined in front of the fountain. Strains of smooth, brassy notes from a trumpet wove through the mossy trees as a street performer peddled his wares. The park was peaceful, with an expectant calm brewing. A storm was rumbling in. Heat wore like a blanket as thick, gray clouds rolled across the sky.
A cool breeze teased her senses as she made her way down Whitaker, walking back towards the hotel. She longed to stay in Forsyth Park longer. To pause and collect her thoughts and words.
Instead, she grasped her phone and frantically typed words, impressions and thoughts into an email, craving the muse and reluctant to release its hold on her.
Bright blue hydrangeas peek through the dense green foliage, painting an otherwise mossy landscape. Trees dripped lazy and long, a picturesque canopy hovering over side streets lined with brick buildings of varying hues, paving the way through historic Savannah. Burnt umber, steely gray, crimson. A cacophony of old and new, somehow harmonized and perfectly balanced.
A church bell rings from the Presbyterian steeple one block over. Or, was it the Catholic church down the street? Whether it's calling parishioners to its doors, or sounding the end of Sunday services, she didn't know. But the disparity between her shorts and flip flops and the Sunday morning churchgoer's heels and ties reminded her she was only a visitor for the day.
The pace here was slower than she was used to. No mad dash. No rushing from one thing to the next. It commanded a slowing of the mind, an awareness of surroundings, a call to notice things otherwise considered inconsequential.
She slowed, breathed deeply, and attempted to calm her racing mind. It's not that her life at home was always running at break neck speed, yet, the deliberate nature of Savannah brought her Los Angeles trained soul pause. Rest awhile - it said.
Perhaps, it was a result of the thick heat. Or, was it something deeper? Woven into the fabric of a culture structured around history and remembrance of an identity that runs deep in all those who grew up in the South.