Coastal Impressions: Part 4 of 5

At Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, something in the air gives the impression of unfettered spirit.  The inhabitants of Hatteras live with the promise of the east coast nemeses, the Nor’easter, the Tropical Storm, and the Hurricane.  These remote Outer Banks residents are subject to endless, shifting winds and shifts and swells in ocean current, that can dramatically alter the land mass.  They are equally subject to the waves of tourism swamping the island, which transforms the island with demands for amenities.  The ocean is singular at Cape Hatteras, with changeable hues of deep blue to aqua, to grass green, to the more ordinary gray green.  Standing in the surf on a sunny afternoon, one is mesmerized by this kaleidoscope.  The crisp white gold glow of the morning sunrise often reveals the soft fine sand meeting the caress of sleek and gleaming liquid silver, and one wonders how this could have been the same sea as the previous afternoon!  Cape Hatteras is a favorite destination for my daughter and I.  Many of the visitors to the Hatteras Lighthouse rush up the steps, take in a view, and clamber back down.  We take our time at each landing, and often find some fresh nuance in the amazing structure or just delight in the view.  The panorama viewed from the catwalk fills one with the sensation of being small and insignificant, and inspires awe in the presence of exquisite beauty.  From this perch, the viewer can discern the infamous sandbar break in the ocean, blue green waters separated from a vastly darker ocean mass.  I am often quite introspective when at Hatteras.  My daughter is of the same mindset on our visits.  This time for internal conversation is part of the reason we go to this place.  I am always content to be there, and take my leave reluctantly; even when my thoughts take tempestuous turns as I sort through what has shaped my life since the previous visit.


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