Outer Banks Earth Day 2014
By Kip Tabb –
If there is a better place anywhere to celebrate Earth Day than the Outer Banks, I can’t imagine where it would be. There is a remarkable sense of witness to the forces of nature that seems a natural part of being here.
At times it’s uncomfortable–the nor’easter that formed last weekend was cold, windy and thoroughly miserable; at times it can be a little bit scary. But then the clouds clear, the wind shifts to the west or southwest and there is an amazing merging of sound and sight and a sense of freshness and renewal that I have never experienced anywhere else.
Perhaps that is why the Outer Banks is a family destination. Maybe this is the opportunity that so many parents have looked for, to say to a child, “Look around you and understand how beautiful this world can be.”
Reality being what it is, chances are if the child is a teenager, they’ll turn a vacuous stare on their parents, nod their head to acknowledge hearing a sound, and go back to Instagram or texting their friends.
Yet that is also the same kid who will get separated from their group on a kayak tour to watch a heron trying to snag its dinner or turtles sunbathing on a bank. Or it may be the same kid who spends three hours on a surf board coming to terms with the power and majesty of the sea.
There are sights and sounds and things to do here that cannot be experienced any other place. I have seen sunsets that are so beautiful that it made me want to weep. I’ve flown kites on Jockey’s Ridge and been filled with the joy of life. I have kayaked in the sounds and seen osprey feeding their chicks, fox prowling the shoreline and turtles and snakes and every kind of animal imaginable on the Outer Banks.
Perhaps, then this is how we should mark Earth Day–with an acknowledgement that we are a part of something bigger than ourselves, something profound and beautiful, and that we are blessed to be a part of it.