What we call “the woods” up north are really different in southeast Georgia. Today LuLu and I began our walk along the cliff overlooking the river then turned inland on the Palmetto Trail. It wanders through tall skinny pines that have no branches for the first 65 feet of the trunk before throwing out soft branches like the feathers at the end of an arrow that has plunged arrow first upright into the earth. At chest level are sawgrass palmettos everywhere that have lush, deep green spikes that fans out and bobs easily in even a faint breeze.
The path underfoot is grey-white sand mostly covered in a layer of red-brown needles. The effect is like a glorious, luxurious carpet. Wearing only canvas sneaks my footsteps sound almost non-existent and the dominant impression is of the soft and repeating cadence of Lu’s breath.
I know, this sounds like a fairy tale. However I left out one element that acts like the auto-correct on your phone text catching and snapping me to my urban ironic self. Every 5 minutes a voice booms from hidden speakers deeper in the woods: “Warning, this is a secure area. Turn back now”