It’s Sunday night after the Apalachicola Seafood Festival. I arrive by bicycle at Ten-Foot Hole, the extraordinarily plain stretch of land flanking the underbelly of the Apalachicola Bridge and bordering Battery Park as well as the bayside marina. In the empty expanse, it is difficult for me to imagine how the Seafood Festival in all its entirety could be housed in such a miniscule and seemingly innocent locality.
A single strip of four or five porta-potties is the only proof that such a monumental event has occurred anywhere near the vicinity. The rest of the place is a ghost town, minus a few men pulling apart the skeleton remnants of the stage on which Jaime Grace and Craig Campbell debuted their illustrious concerts.
As the soothing breeze begins to lull Ten-Foot Hole back into its year-round slumber from the exciting events of the past few nights, I ponder the things which were. I think of the friends I have made during my brief time in Apalach, and I wonder at how almost nothing else has changed since I got here. Time passes as if no time has passed at all, with words like “changeless” and “eternity” coming to mind.
The Seafood Festival is different; it marks another notch in the lifetime of our little town. It reminds us both that there still exists a world outside our own and that we are each getting older and experiencing all the new developments that life offers.
Now that it’s over, the young of the town will find themselves bored again, and the old grateful, while the remainder of us will simply return to our daily routines. The question is, are we really happy to go back to the grind without that desperately-needed change? Doesn’t the Seafood Festival whet our appetite for something fresh and new?
Let’s use this chiming hand of the clock to consider the possibility of change. Maybe now is a good time to start that project we just haven’t had time to do. Maybe it’s time to grant that forgiveness for a sin long since passed. Or, maybe, it’s time to reach out with a non-judgmental hand and form a new friendship, all the while being scoffed at by others who are “too good.”
After all, the world is much bigger than little-bitty Franklin County , and the Apalachicola Seafood Festival should be enough to remind us of that.
With best wishes, a fellow “Apalachicolian,”