|Fripp Island Sunrise|
I fell in love with Fripp Island before I knew its name or existence. Pat Conroy's descriptions of the low country resonated in my heart, calling my soul out to play:
"I have heard it said that an inoculation to the sights and smells of the Carolina lowcountry is an almost irreversible antidote to the charms of other landscapes, other alien geographies. You can be moved profoundly by other vistas, by other oceans, by soaring mountain ranges, but you can never be seduced. You can even forsake the lowcountry, renounce it for other climates, but you can never completely escape the sensuous, semitropical pull of Charleston and her marshes.”
This year's travels have proven his words true. Time and again, we saw breathtaking beauty all around America, but none so glorious as a low country sunset.
|Fripp Island Sunset|
And so, always, we return to Fripp.
Located nineteen miles southwest of Historic Beaufort, two hours from Charleston and just one hour from Savannah, Fripp Island is a private, gated community offering everything a person needs -or wants- in just 6 square miles. Whatever image of Fripp you're looking for, you'll find it.
|Clam digging on Fripp|
If you're searching for the low country of The Prince of Tides, it's here. Home to Pat Conroy and his wife, author Cassandra King, Fripp Island's luscious low country landscape holds redemptive powers and inspires novels. But if you're like me, you may be content with bike rides, long walks, and meditative moments sitting on a dock as the lapping of the water lulls you to sleep just as the sheepshead strikes your bait. If you're more adventurous, Fripp gives liberty to try new passions like crabbing, clamming and shrimping, all of which boil up nicely in a fresh frogmore stew.
|Fripp Island Blue Crabs|
|Frogmore Stew topped with crabs|
If you're searching for pirate's gold like early Fripp resident Blackbeard's treasure, the booty may not be buried here (feel free to look), but the white sand beaches beg for pirate play. So dig, drink, relax and be merry. Like the t-shirt says, you can't sit on the beach and drink rum all day unless you start first thing in the morning. Of course, you don't have to drink to live the pirate life. Pirates play golf and tennis. Pirates swim, kayak, and play basketball. If Camp Fripp has taught us anything, it's that pirates are unpredictable and abhor stereotypes. Play and fun for pirates come in many forms.
|Pirate Tennis, Anyone?|
If you are looking to lose yourself in pristine nature, Fripp Island has that, too. From the wind sweeping through the live oaks dripping with spanish moss to the marshland habitat teaming with minnows and shrimp, snowy egrets and blue herons, from the dunes and tide pools on the beach to the reeds and sweetgrass of the inlets, this sea island abounds with life. We could not have picked a better place to home school our children this year. Every breath and glance outside is a science lesson.
Though we will be returning to our home in Georgia in three months, I know Fripp is now our home, too. We have laughed and loved here; we have grown and changed here. And we've learned some important life lessons here.
A few of my favorites are:
- Giving kids some freedom helps them to grow confident and strong.
- Children are like the tides: they may rush out to the wide open, but return, eventually, to parental Terra Firma.
- Breathing salt air frees the mind and feeds the soul.
What are your favorite island lessons?(Please share in comments.)
Check Out My Fripp Island...