This is the second piece of our four part series about discovering all that Arlington Place and Pamlico County have to offer. If you missed part one, “Peace By the River”, then be sure to check it out first. If you’re ready to learn more about building here then download our revised design and development standards.
Bobbi looked up from her phone and tucked a piece of her long brown hair behind her ear. “Kathryn, where the heck are you taking us? The closest Starbucks is 30 miles away.”
“And that’s exactly why we’re going to Pamlico County my friend,” I said keeping my eyes on the two lane road. “Since I returned from my retreat at Arlington Place this summer, you’ve begged me to bring you here. Don’t start complaining now,” I said and playfully swatted Bobbi on her knee.
We entered the town limits of Arapahoe and I slowed the car. In the rearview mirror I saw Sarah and Jamie in the back seat reading, unperturbed by the lack of a Starbucks. I hope inviting my walking buddies for a girl’s weekend had been the right choice. We were neighbors in North Raleigh and walked three days a week. There was plenty to talk about on our 45 minute walks and occasional dinners out, but this would be the most time the four of us had ever spent together.
Jamie and I were next door neighbors, had kids close to the same age and were in the same book club, so I knew we’d get along, but what about Bobbi who’s focused on her career as a pharmaceutical sales rep and doesn’t have kids. Will she feel left out when we talk about our children? And what about Sarah? She’s twenty years older than the rest of us and a retired kindergarten teacher. Will the four of us have enough in common to make it through an entire weekend? Will we even agree on how to spend the day tomorrow?
I took a deep breath and chided myself for worrying about the group dynamics. As an executive coach, that was part of my job when I lead a workshop, but I wasn’t driving to a corporate office. I was starting a relaxing weekend with my friends. It will be fine. It’s not my responsibility that everyone gets along.
The other women discussed the dinner menu and I rolled down the window. The fresh air rushed in, bringing with it the loamy scent of earth, but the call of a seagull gave away the proximity of the water. I turned right, into Arlington Place and my shoulders relaxed. We were here, and it already felt like I was coming home.
I hoped this weekend would feel similar to my last visit, but could I feel centered with others around? Was the peace I experienced last time the result of my solitude? Or, was there something special about the land and water here in Pamlico County and I’d feel it again with my friends?
A burst of laughter at something Sarah said interrupted my thoughts. Guess I’m about to find out.
I turned into the driveway of our cottage and Bobbi said, “Whoa. This is nice. When you told me we were renting a cottage in Pamlico County, I’d set my expectations low, but this place is lovely.”
I smiled. “Wait to you see inside.”
Jamie got out of the car first and immediately bent down to touch her toes. “That was too much sitting for me. Where’s the water?” she asked.
I opened the car door. “Come on. Let’s walk back to Mill Creek first. It’ll only take a minute.”
Sarah, Jamie and Bobbi followed me past the log cabin that served as the outfitters cottage, and then down the short boardwalk to the creek. The rustle of the river grass and smell of the brackish water was soothing. I stepped out onto the dock and immediately turned back with my index finger on my lips.
I whispered, “A heron is fishing on the other side of the creek.”
The others stepped quietly beside me and we watched the heron dip her head into the water and come up with a small menhaden for dinner. We remained here for several minutes until the heron took flight and let out an awkward honk that contradicted it’s otherwise graceful departure. The four of us stood silently by the creek and I felt everyone’s energy shift, like mine had when I first smelled the water.
Sarah, the elder in our group, put her arm around me and said softly, “Thank you for bringing us here.”