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  • I was eight years old when I first beheld Jockey's Ridge. My overactive imagination looked for C-3PO & R2-D2 wandering through the dunes. I hurriedly climbed each hill to see what was next. My parents patiently trailed behind me. They had made the walk before. Then I reached the tallest ridge. I spotted older people at the top silhouetted against the azure sky.

    I climbed.

    I was seventeen years old and sat atop the ridge. My mind searched for meaning & direction in my tangled life. I took pause on the shifting sand. My parents were divorced. I had made the climb alone. The east coast stretched endlessly across the horizon. Other people would jump from the precipice and run down the sandy slope.

    I leapt.

    I am thirty-four years old and recently visited the sand dunes. I thought back to those summer vacations at the Outer Banks & my life over the years. My friends' children hurriedly climbed each hill. I tiredly trailed behind them. I had made the walk before. After some time, we descended the highest ridge with the sun to our backs. Inexplicably I felt that that I may never see these dunes again.

    I departed.

    Jockey's Ridge is in Nags Head, North Carolina, typically referred to as the Outer Banks. It is the tallest sand dune system on the east coast. During its seven millennia lifespan, its shape and location has changed due to shifting winds. As a result, it is sometimes referred to as "The Living Dune".
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