Trees, other sights worth taking notice of


By Reggie Ponder

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Waterfront Park in Elizabeth City has some magnificent trees.

For many of you that observation will seem akin to “the sky is up” or “the ground is down.”

But others of you might not have ever noticed.

I’m not sure I had noticed until this week.

Now don’t get me wrong, I had seen the trees before and maybe even remarked on occasion that they were nice trees.

What I’m not sure I had really understood, though, was how spectacular they really are.

It makes me wonder what else I walk (or drive) right by from day to day but never really notice.

There are sights like this all around town, and not just in this town. Edenton, Hertford, Grandy, South Mills, Shiloh — most any place you could name in this area has sights worth seeing if we take a moment to notice.

I saw Kevin Cherry this week as he was touring Elizabeth City with a delegation from state government. I first met Cherry, who heads the state’s Division of Archives and History, shortly after I went to work at the Chowan Herald in 2013. Edenton was celebrating its 300th Anniversary and held a big event that included Gov. Pat McCrory and an actor depicting Gov. Charles Eden, the man Edenton is named for.

It was a fun day in Edenton — the particular kind of fun the town specializes in — and Cherry clearly was having a blast being part of it.

A few weeks later he was back in town, speaking at a conference of historians and historic preservationists interested in the state’s legacy of Rosenwald Schools, and made a seemingly offhand comment about how an ideal way to restore one’s spirit while visiting Edenton is to stand near the top of the Courthouse Green and look out over the water.

Having done just that a number of times I can vouch for its restorative value.

And one morning this week I had a similar experience at Waterfront Park in Elizabeth City. I looked out at the river, something I had done dozens, maybe even hundreds, of times before, and glimpsed a depth of beauty I had someone missed before.

I’ve already mentioned the trees. As I stood in their shade, I wondered how I had missed the magnificence in the past.

Actually I suppose I know the answer. I’m busy. I have things to do.

That’s a good thing, too, but I hope I’m not too busy to enjoy the beauty that is all around.

Even more I hope I’m not taking for granted the wonderful people who are all around me every day.

There’s plenty wrong in the world but there some really important things that are just right, too.

Reggie Ponder is a staff writer for The Daily Advance.