I had read a lot about Driftwood Beach. Some dubbed it ‘ The graveyard of trees ‘ and it seemed like it could be.
Every image I’d seen of the beach was at sunrise or sunset, with the sky a wonderful canvas of subtle color, the tree limbs rising from the shoreline, a haunting silhouette against nature’s glorious background.
I woke up early, hoping that the sun would be shining bright, that the skies would be clear. I wanted to get the best possible pictures of the trees, thinking I might be able to write an article or two about the beach later, once I was home.
Instead, it had rained heavily during the night and now the only thing I saw was dense fog. I could barely see my hands in front of my face. To say I was disappointed in the weather is an understatement. I mean, I live in New York. It wasn’t as if I could make it down to Jekyll Island, Georgia, at the drop of a hat, to see it another time. This might be my only opportunity to visit.
Oh, well, chin up and deal with it.
I was staying on Jekyll Island for a few days to celebrate my birthday. Everyone there told me that I had to go see Driftwood Beach. An older couple from Spain, riding their bikes around the hotel property, stopped to exclaim it was a breath-taking sight, that I could miss other attractions on the beach, but not this one.
I stepped onto the long expanse of sand, stone and seaweed. At first sight it was pretty, for sure, but not overly impressive. There were a few massive tree trunks lying on the beach, so what.
Really, so what.
It was when I stepped over a few limbs and turned the corner, that the landscape took my breath away. It was amazing!
Driftwood ~ entire trees ~ were strewn, haphazardly,along the beach. Some limbs were intertwined with others, tangled in what appeared to be the throes of death. Other trees still stood, entrenched in deep sand, stripped of bark, totally exposed to the elements.
I couldn’t catch my breath. The fog lent an air of melancholy to the scene in front of me. I walked slowly along the beach, just enjoying the sight, all at once grateful for the light mist, the sunless skies, the moody seascape.
I thought about life and how it can seem overwhelming sometimes. I thought about the blows it can render, the trials that seem to be more than one can bear. I thought about the strength of human beings, how some can rise to the occasion, handling it’s storms and erosion with grace and charm. Even though…..
I spent a long, peaceful time on the beach that day, Capturing a small, precious piece of what I saw there on my Canon. It was hard to see where the trees ended and the beach, then horizon started. It was so inspiring, this beach different than any other place I’d been before.
I had a little free time the next morning. The sun was out and the day’s heat index was creeping up. I walked onto Driftwood Beach and it truly was beautiful, stunning, actually…..The shimmer of sunlight on the water, detail of boats in the distance. I could see for miles. Exactly how I’d wanted it to look yesterday.
But, today, I took just a few pictures and left. I was already missing the dense fog and eerie portraits I’d been treated to just hours before.