Just about every evening now during this unending Age of the Coronavirus, I emerge from my cozy sanctuary, get in the car, and drive a short distance to a park along the Ashley River. For years, for some strange reasons of my own, I didn’t come out here, but since he pandemic I’ve discovered that it’s one of the best places in Charleston to watch the sunsets each evening.
Late today, I observed yet another stunning sunset in the distance. As is my habit, I started to walk along the riverbank, camera ready, toward the sinking orb which was painting the clouds orange and pink above vast tidal marshes whose grasses are lit gold in that magical light. The terrible heat of the day was subsiding. A gentle breeze was blowing off the river. People had come out and were sitting in lawn chairs or on blankets in the grass to watch the evening spectacle. Some came with their dogs to a dog park where their best friends could run free to their hearts content. Children laughed and played in an elaborate playground.
All was like a dream. Peaceful, idyllic.. and presumably quiet out on the pier where my walk ends to take pictures.
But tonight, as occasionally happens, I started hearing music coming from an anchored and apparently abandoned houseboat in the middle of the river. The music got louder. I feared the worst — loud booming rap shattering the calm as revelers tie up to the houseboat and held an impromptu party oblivious to anyone else around them, as is so often the case..
But tonight something special and totally unexpected happened. Instead of that horrible boom box music I usually hear came the familiar sounds of a 60 year-old-hit. I couldn’t believe my ears. I silently whispered “Thank you,” as an older couple got up from a bench and started polka dancing.. Several young people joined in, trying to imitate the suddenly spy and energized seniors. I listened and gazed in awe at what I heard and saw. Pinch me, I’m dreaming.