We toasted to the tides and the near-full moon, celebrating that the rain had finally moved on and we could snap a few final food shots for this issue. Then, we dug into shrimp and tuna and margaritas. We may have indulged in a shared slice of Dreamsicle cake as well.
Full and happy, we lingered in the breeze, listening to the house band in between the soft ruffle of the tide. We talked about music and movies and avoided the proverbial elephant that had pulled a chair up to our table: this moment marked the last time that art director Britt Scott, editors Sarah Taylor Asquith and Maggie Harney, and I would be working as a creative team to bring this magazine to life. I am leaving my post to write a book and to teach, a pull as strong as the moon hanging above, but one that breaks up what we have been building together.
Sometime you have to make the hard choices to live the life of your dreams. And, I can think of no better launch pad to take that leap of faith than here, where charm and creativity coexist with grit and grace. After years of searching, I believe I have found my rhythm in a place where brackish waters meet salted seas, where a fringe of grass turns from green to gold with each season. It’s the cradle of the ocean and the nurturer of so many hopes.
Multiple times during the course of making this issue, people from all walks—experts and enthusiasts, alike—remarked about the strong health of our coast as evidenced by the resurgent oyster industry, the breadth of marine life, the intricate threads of rivers, creeks and marshes. Hanging over it all, however, has been this sense of unease that the fragile balance we’ve long enjoyed and, perhaps, taken for granted, could be washed away by offshore drilling, relaxed shoreline development regulations, seismic testing—all of which are coming back to the table like reheated leftovers. Having lived both in Texas and Florida before relocating to Savannah eight years ago, I’ve seen how the voracious appetites of both fuel and folly have muted the beauty of irreplaceable coastlines. I’d hate to see that happen here. Our precious and unique environment needs a new generation of seven ladies fighting as hard for its preservation as those foremothers did for our downtown.
Regardless of whether or not you think man is contributing to the warming climate patterns, the sea will rise and it will affect how we live here. What kind of economy could we build through renewable energies (we got wind, water and sun in spades), and how could we transform the lives of our residents if our own mayor chose to join the more than 200 other city leaders across the country who have pledged to fulfill America’s commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement?
Those leaders see a future in innovation, not in standing still or moving backward, which only brings stagnation—and that is one of creation’s greatest messages. It’s constantly evolving, transforming to bring itself into balance. I have heeded that lesson, and now bid my colleagues and cherished readers a hope-filled farewell. It has been my honor and my delight these last seven years as a writer and editor to take you behind the Spanish moss curtain into parts of Savannah you may have not visited, may have not considered. My prayer: you’ll cherish it as I have and keep it moving forward.
Amy Paige Condon