The stately oaks that grace our area are truly symbols of the South. Draped with Spanish moss, they look like elegant ladies with their evening wraps, all lacey and sheer gently swaying in the evening breeze.
Most well known is Lovers Oak in Brunswick. Said to be over 900 years old and the site of Indian trysts where a young warrior would meet his lady fair. The tree still stands at the intersection of Albany and Prince Streets, its thirteen foot trunk sturdy and true.
Just north of Gloucester Street in Brunswick stands Lanier Oak. Another stately tree said to be the place where Sidney Lanier rested as he recovered from four years in a Union prison during the Civil War. The tree must have had some healing power as Lanier went on to write “Hymns of the Marshes” and lecture at John’s Hopkins on English Literature.
The Sidney Lanier Bridge that stands as gateway to the Golden Isles is named after the famous poet who found this area so worthy of his written word.
Just north of The Village on St Simons is a park of oak trees on the south side of which are buried thirty Indian men, women and children. They lived on the land two centuries prior to the Europeans arrival in the area. Later known as the Timucuan Indians, the tribe and its people can still be found in the area which has served as their home for so many centuries.
The oak tree has always symbolized strength to me. Yet, when I see these mighty trees with Spanish moss decorating their branches I am reminded of the gentle nature of the South. The island life we all enjoy, the touch of gentility and a bygone era of a life built on European manners and Southern grace, blended together to create this place we call home.
Long may they stand, in all their glory, as canopies, memorials and reminders of the past yet standing for the future for all to see.