When people come to visit me here, they always say something to the effect of "North Carolina isn't how I pictured it." When I ask them what they did picture, they can never quite say... but it isn't this.
I had never been to North Carolina before I moved here, either. And it surprised me, too. What did I expect? Well. Honestly? Nascar, smokers, rednecks, trailer parks, fried food, snakes, and humidity. I think that pretty much sums it up.
But now I'm in my sixth year here, and I am happy to say that I continue to be delightfully surprised.
By the darting, disappearing tails of bunnies across my lawn.
By flashes of red and the call of songbirds.
By the soft curve and rise and fall of fields of corn, wheat, okra, soy, and cotton.
By the unending parade of blossoms that begins in March and continues through the summer: Bradford pear, dogwood, azalea, rhododendron, japonica, and crepe myrtle.
By the spiciness that accompanies the return of humidity.
By summer fogs, when I still think that fog should be something that happens in the winter.
By the first cool humidity-free breeze in the fall.
There's something magical about a place that is so unexpected.
You never know what you'll find next.