At the beach yesterday, pewter was the dominant color. Fog had rolled in early in the morning, and the sky melted into the Atlantic Ocean. There was no horizon. By mid-afternoon the sun, like a shiny tin disc, hung in the southwest sky, peering through the thickening cloud cover. Ferries were tied up at the docks and the sense of isolation was palpable.
Late at night, long after the sun had set, I walked down Howard Street. It was quiet, dead quiet. Not a sound was to be heard, and all was dark, save a dim light visible in Blanche's living room window and beams from a security light some distance away. Wispy layers of fog floated above the tombstones in the cemeteries.
I unfastened the latch; the hinges creaked; I stepped inside. The distant light cast ominous shadows across the graves. Gnarled oak limbs swayed slowly, and every movement sent my heart racing a tad faster. I moved gingerly among the markers, careful not to trip on foot stones, or step on graves. The fog hung heavy in the warm December air.
I stayed a while. Not too long. Just enough time to greet the ancestors and assure them that we were looking after their beloved home.
I stepped back out onto Howard Street and walked home, savoring the eerie quietness of a foggy Ocracoke night.
Our latest Newsletter is about the old Howard cemetery on British Cemetery Road. You can read the stories here.