Monday, July 09, 2012


On Saturday afternoon Lachlan and I walked downtown to get an ice cream cone. We meandered over to the Black Schooner gift shop and sat on the porch. There weren't any customers in the shop, so the proprietor, Sundae, was sitting in one of the rockers. We chatted for a few minutes when Lachlan (he's seven years old; soon to turn eight) addressed Sundae: "What do you think the meaning of human existence is?" he asked.

Sundae jokingly asserted that meaning was "overrated" and allowed as how we humans tend to view our species as the center of the universe (she didn't actually put it quite like that, but I think that's close to what she was trying to convey), and that we often want to assign cosmic meaning where there isn't any. A rather nuanced discussion ensued.

Finally Lachlan said simply that he thought the meaning of existence was to be happy with what you have, enjoy nature, and try not to kill animals.

I think Lachlan's thoughts will  change some as he matures, but they sure seem like a darn good beginning to me.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is Molly Lovejoy's 2012 Ocracoke School Valedictory Address. You can read it here:  


  1. Anonymous7:34 AM

    Amen to that Lachlan.

  2. bill kostar7:49 AM

    Somehow I think if Lachlan were growing up in a big city like New York, his view of the world would be much less well-grounded. And wherever he goes, the appreciation for the values and experiences he'll have had on Ocracoke will be carried with him.
    And he'll realize how very lucky he's been.

  3. Debbie Leonard7:56 AM

    I think Lachlan has wisdom beyond his years and I hope he doesn't change as he grows up!

  4. debbie s.9:29 AM

    Love that kid! reminds me so much of our Bobby!

    and I think he hit dead center with that one.....

  5. Anonymous12:15 PM

    Well said Lachlan
    Well said!

  6. Anonymous10:41 AM

    And let's not overlook the obvious guiding influence of parents (and grandparents)in helping pass along and shape such thoughtfulness.

    Kudos all around. You are definitely on the right track, Lachlan.

    Is your grandson still in the shell business, Philip? Curious to know how that's going in the high season, if he's still in business.

    And on another note, I'm reading (and highly recommend) The Shipping News, by Annie Proulx. As I read it, I often think of Ocracoke and wonder if you've read the book, and if so what you might have thought about it, from your unique perspective as a near-native in a similar albeit toastier coastal setting.

  7. Anon 10:41 -- Thank you for the kind words. Yes, Lachlan still has his shell business...and doing well. I hope he also learns that sometimes it takes physical labor to produce income.

    I have not read The Shipping News. Perhaps one day I will.

  8. Peggy9:28 AM

    Out of the mouths of babes!

  9. Anonymous3:31 PM

    The Shipping News is an excellent book(much better than the movies as is so typical) and I think that Lachlan pretty much nailed it! Sue M