Charleston Update: Feeding Body and Soul
Back from another memorable Charleston trip, and we were truly well fed! The weather cooperated, there were no health or vehicle surprises this trip, and the Holy City was, as always, a joy to visit. What’s not to like about a city by the water that offers extraordinary dining and shopping, first class museums and galleries, and history everywhere you turn? There’s also the Saturday farmers market – I’m a sucker for a good outdoor market – where the booths and their wares often look like art installations and where one can find produce from gooseberries to purple sweet potatoes; homemade breads and pastries that tempt me to fill up the car; beautifully crafted jewelry, art, and gift items; and for breakfast or lunch all sorts of enticing festival food that blessedly do not include funnel cakes, corn dogs or deep fried Oreos.
But we were there for the Spoleto/Piccolo Spoleto Festival, a fine arts extravaganza that happens annually beginning Memorial Day. For 17 days Charleston hosts more music (chamber, jazz, pop, folk, blue grass, gospel, you name it), theatre (Shakespeare to improv), opera, dance, and anything that fits under “art” than it’s possible to take in, even if one stayed for the entire two weeks and never ate or slept. And Monday through Friday evenings at The Sundown Poetry Series, in the courtyard of the historic Dock Street Theatre, there’s . . . poetry!!!
This is where we were on June 3rd, where I was the featured poet, and where I had a grand time! The poetry folks in Charleston were so warm and welcoming, and at the wine reception and book signing afterward, the audience gave me such kind and gratifying comments. There was a fun “six degrees of separation moment” when we met a woman from a small Missouri town who turned out to be a neighbor of a family we patronized for years at a farmers market back at home. Later, a great meal at a new “Charleston restaurant find.” All in all, it was a lovely evening! (I have my dear husband’s assurance that the evening truly did go very well and I was not simply in my own happy-bubble.) Big thanks to friends and fellow writers at home who kept me in their thoughts and even sent flowers!
Last month I wrote about balancing the negative and the positive. Well, this year’s Charleston Spoleto trip certainly counter-balances five years ago when I had an emergency appendectomy there during the Festival. Also, just prior to this year’s trip, some of my recent poetry submissions had been rejected, but after we returned I received news that one of my newer poems – one I’d read in Charleston – has been accepted for publication. Many thanks to my talented Third Thursday Writers Group friends who helped me hone “My Mother Visits Another Country”!
In so many areas of life, we have important decisions to make, but we’re fortunate to have those choices. And choosing balance is one of those. So here’s to balance – viva le bon choix!
Angel Oak -estimated age 300-400 yrs.