Sinking into nature’s rhythm has been the focus of our stay here on Hunting Island. This South Carolina barrier island sits “away from it all,” just south of Beaufort’s Marine Corp Air Station and Parris Island. Hilton Head Island lies to the south.
A canopy of palm trees and long leaf pines shades the Hunting Island State Park campground. Here, it’s hard to believe that anything can be more important than watching a pod of dolphins frolicking in the ocean, pelicans gliding overhead, or waves rolling toward shore.
At low tide, we were able to walk along the beach to the historic Hunting Island lighthouse. The ocean is devouring the island, as evidenced by stretches of skeletal trees, killed by the invading salt water. We climbed the lighthouse on a clear day when we could see 40 miles to the horizon, have a bird’s-eye view ofthe neighboring islands, and look down on the rounded tops of tall Loblolly pines.
Another day we learned about the area’s land and maritime creatures at the Nature Center and absorbed new views from the fishing pier. Late afternoon, we walked on a boardwalk stretching over the salt marsh to a hammock of trees. Shrimp scared off predators with their popping sounds while egrets stalked through the reeds searching for their next meal. Tall marsh grasses swayed with the water’s current.
As the sun began its descent, it blinded us with its bright golden light. Then it quickly dropped below the horizon, painting the sky with colorful hues.
After staying here three days, we decided to make this campground our base for another five days. Our initial RV site sat within yards of the beach where I fell to sleep at night to the surf’s melodic lullaby. Now we’re in a secluded site bordered with trees and shrubs, where we can spend focused hours on our work. At night, instead of the surf, stillness lulls me to sleep.
I continue to greet each day with a meditative stroll on the beach, take a long walk on the sand at low tide, and end the day admiring the countless brilliant stars carpeting the night sky. Hunting Island has won me over with its natural rhythm.