Waking to the scent of salt and Old Bay Seasoning, the street vendors set up in the dawn’s damp, early light. The sun reflects off the wakes of the trolling fishing boats leaving port. Tourists rise and walk the docks to watch the traditions of the hometown’s men carrying out their family traditions. Cobblestones from the 1800s, chatter beneath push carts loaded with vegetables, and fresh crustaceans line the walks.
A group of dressed whites parades from the Naval Academy, adding to the flavor of the charm and reminiscent of Olde Town. The sun has changed the sky from a glow of orange to a bright blue with brush strokes of cumulus sweeping in the early light. A gentle breeze meanders up the canal through the rigging and masts. The burgees lay sleeping, awakened in the wind as God anoints the atmosphere surrounding Annapolis.
Dogs frolic in the sun, chasing twigs thrown in the water as nearby ducks lay sleeping. And children play stickball in the alleyways behind, echoing the joy of growing up in an era long gone. I turn my back to the memories of what once was and look away. Do I need to ask what happened to this beautiful colonial capital?
Annapolis has great historical significance, but now architects are creating design buildings like disfigured boxes. The old charm that once existed is out the window. The old flare of early architectures has rotted away and roads rerouted. Nothing reminds me of the flavor of the charm of where I once lived. Memories of places are now left in my subconscious.
My heart sadly sinks like an old wooden skipjack beached on an oyster bed, left to weather its fate. I feel the chill as I bundle up guarding my heart against the homeland I once loved. The quaint charm is now abandoned by modernity. It lies in ruin inside the depths of souls, along with our forefathers that pushed the carts on its cobblestone streets.
Saying grace, I come to God to preserve my faint memories. Life was simpler, the pace was slower, and the grace of God was prevalent. Families of generations were born there – from Puritans and Baptists, to marriages in the little churches our forefathers stood before in 1708. Annapolis, once called the “Athens of America”, possesses more original 18th century structures still standing than any other city in the United States. God bless my home!