Southern Maryland- smackdab in the middle of the country’s Tidewater region. The land between two rivers; squeezed between the Patuxent and the Potomac, and jutting out into the Chesapeake Bay at its southernmost point. The bay’s veins and arteries pumping and trickling inland. Follow a back road to the end, and there’s a likelihood that you will run into water. Everywhere you turn more water.
A thick, deciduous canopy traces the water’s edge as far as the eye can see. Houses pockmark the coastline. Boats perch on lifts for nine months out of the year, and sometimes for a stretch many times that. The sands of time trickle slowly through a damp hourglass, moist with brackish tides. The frantic pace of D.C. and Baltimore have not reached this quiet estuary-yet. As megacities become the norm, will this scenic waterfront be swallowed with urban and suburban sprawl? I hope not, but I fear it is inevitable.
For the time being, I’ll enjoy the calm, consistent change of seasons, the scenic natural beauty, and the abundance of wildlife in all shapes, forms, and sizes. Ospreys, eagles, herons, gulls, and kingfishers patrol as a diverse tidewater air force, while the calls and chatter of their land-based brethren remind them of their origins. Schools of fish, circle, and breach in attempts to escape the hungry mouths below. Blue crabs pick up the scraps and wave menacing claws at passersby. The whole landscape seems to be orchestrated to a rhythm and tempo that is too slow to please urbanites.
Patches of corn, and long stretches of soy line the roads which are still more prevalent and more useful than the several, slowly expanding highways. Jets scream, prop planes buzz, and helicopters thump their way to the Naval Base from time to time; some days more so than others. Lawn mowers, with their props facing the ground, chop clean patches of grass on the weekends. There is no drone of traffic. No sense of the frantic rat race. Peace and quiet- something that is becoming harder and harder to find in the modern era. Southern Maryland is a time capsule, whose hatch will eventually be pulled off, and filled with all of the modern amenities that people are accustomed to, but for now, it is a little slice of heaven unmolested by “progress.”