I take a step onto the chilled wood of my porch and look out into the sky. The light just barely peeking over the top of the trees. I inhale a breath of fresh air and take a step down onto the wooden bridge lying across the swamplands that will soon lead me to my destination. I reach the entrance and leave my flip flops on the small path. As I step sand flows between my toes with a slight chill from high tide of the night before. I look out onto the horizon and watch an orange glow rise from the depths of the sea. Memoriese and love surround me on this beach, Emerald Isle, North Carolina, my second home.
This summer I traveled to North Carolina to a small island named Emerald Isle. Emerald Isle holds many memories for me but the previous trip left a lasting impression. This summer I reconnected with faraway family, and relived traditions. This trip to North Carolina refreshed my outlook on life and rejuvenated me for the school year to come.
Outside my window I hear the roar of a car engine rolling up my driveway. The engine stops and I hear the slam of a car door. I jump out of my bed and rush down the wooden stairs of my porch to greet my family with open arms.
Family was a big part of my rejuvenation of myself in North Carolina this past summer. Seeing my family is very special to me, because I don’t get to see them very often. Our family always jokes around about how we collect people and bring them into our family. My grandfather was in the Navy, and traveling with the same families all the time, they created a family of their own. These families are the families that came together this summer to enjoy the Fourth of July. Reconnection with them happened during the fourth of July celebration. I lay down on the blanket just as it was beginning to get dark. I knew the fireworks were going to start soon so I was getting comfortable when my little cousin Cole cam over and laid down next to me. He looked up at me and said in his small voice, ‘Megan I wished you live closer to me, are you going to come visit me soon?’ I told him I would come visit him soon and a look of relief passed over his face. In that moment I realized that my family truly cared about me and missed me no matter how many miles away I was.
The hot sand underneath my feet and the sweat pouring down my face as I walk along Shackleford island and collect shells, The sounds of the Smith house being filled with life, the crack of fireworks that shake my soul on forth of July, ah sweet traditions.
Whenever I have gone down to Emerald Isle during the fourth of July we have always followed three traditions, and that did not change this year, although my realization of their true meaning did. The first of the three traditions is to walk along Shackleford Island with my family and collect as many big beautiful shells as we possibly can. The second is the renting of what we call the Smith house.
The Smith house is a rental house on the beach which the Smith family, one of our navy families, has begun to call their summer home. The third traditions is the trip to Camp Lagoon, a military base right near Emerald Isle, where we go to watch the fireworks show every year. These traditions hold many old, new, and future memories for me. This summer I realized as I was walking toward the fireworks that these traditions were more to me than just traditions. In a world that is beginning to speed up and change all around me, these are three constants I can count on in my life to always be there when I expect them to be.
The calm sea breeze on my face, the swish of the sand between my toes, the gentle hum of the waves lapping on the shore, they call to me. Everything around me beats in unison. I look out onto the horizon and watch the sun disappear behind the ocean, waiting for the stars to shine down on me. The two lasting impressions of this trip will saty with me forever. Emerald Isle, North Carolina, my second home.
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