I love the Outer Banks in North Carolina. Have I mentioned that before?
Currituck, Kitty Hawk, Rodanthe, Hatteras, Ocracoke.
When I dream of escape, I dream of drifting dunes and a big yellow moon hanging over the Atlantic. I dream of warm moist sea air seeping into me and loosening me in places I didn't know were tight. I want to move there and stay forever and ever and ever amen. I would even put up with the hurricanes to be able to claim the Outer Banks as home.
One pesky problem: No family lives there. Well, at least no immediate family.
I recently discovered my deep-seated affinity for the Outer Banks and this area of the country is organic. Turns out my peeps were some of the earliest Virginians, as in settled Jamestown in 1608, had children on Isle of Wight in the 1620's, established Elizabeth City and kept spreading down into North Carolina, ending up in Wilmington. It wasn't just one or two ancestral lines either, but multiple lines of people that settled in this area in the early 1600's. My grandmother Mollie was the first in my family to move away - she moved out west and so that is where my mom is "from." That's where I have always claimed to be "from."
Turns out that is not the whole story. While I will always love the Rocky Mountains and count myself a daughter of the high desert, there is something about the Tidewater/Outer Banks area that speaks to me deep down in the sinews of my psyche.
When I visit the OBX, I experience a cellular level recognition and I can feel my soul revive a bit more with every hour I am there. I would like to be able to stake my claim and say, "This is where I am from." I know it certainly feels like home.
I guess in a way, I can say this is where I am from. Turns out I have all kinds of extended family from Richmond to Wilmington and I am about as Southern as southerners get with a patriot's pedigree that stretches back four centuries, thanks to Grandma Mollie.
Turns out I am just
a southern girl gone home.