Edisto as Eden Isle

God is the experience of looking at a tree and saying, “Ah!” – Joseph Campbell

Edisto Island, South Carolina ©'12 C.Hutson Wrenn

Edisto Island, South Carolina ©’12 C.Hutson Wrenn

Edisto Island is a sea island, nine miles wide. And even though water surrounds it and rivers run through it, the island is mostly a wild Eden maritime forest of womanly live oaks thick with fern and Spanish moss. It is rare preserved land in a world drunk on development.

The road out to the island is National Scenic Byway from Highway 17. For twenty miles It snakes through tree tunnels by marshlands, over rivers. I call that road “church” for it serves to nourish and soothe one’s spirit, a reminder of the rhythms and tides of the seasons, of this Mother, earth.

Joseph Campbell, the great mythologist, spent his life studying what the world’s great religions had in common. Truth, he taught, is what the poets and the artists know. It is less about the historical facts and more about the metaphors that can make it all alive to us right now. Today. It IS about the under glimmer, like Basho says.

Tree Cathedral. ©'05 C.HutsonWrenn

Tree Cathedral. ©’05 C.HutsonWrenn

This island is Eden with trees shaped like dancing women. Trees that nurture Resurrection Fern. This island is Eden with serpents (with a real Serpentarium that harvests life saving venom) symbolizing our ability to shed our skins and make our lives anew. This island is Eden in its dark, forested, labyrinthine paths. It is Eden with her deer and her fish and her Ibis. It is Eden with her Beekeepers, who protect the food of the gods.

And all this Eden is surrounded by La Mer, which means both Mother and the Sea.

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I was called to be an artist. And as an old old midwife said to me "If the Lord wants you to do something, you won't have no good luck' til you do." So, here I am, sharing what I love, longing to illuminate the work of art, which is everywhere.

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Posted in art, beauty, creativity, Food, Green, photography, Poetry, religion, spirituality, women, Writing
6 comments on “Edisto as Eden Isle
  1. downthelanegirl says:

    I love reading your posts. My husband and I have fallen in love with all things Edisto. We spent January and February there this winter and miss it deeply. If I believed in reincarnation (which I do not-I am Baptist) I was Hephzibah Jenkins Townsend in my former life. Thank you for the link to Peters Point Plantation Blog. I’ve searched high and low for blogs written from Edisto and I have never seen this before. Can’t wait to read it all!

    • Wow, I love hearing this! Thank you so much for writing! Pinkney Mikell, who is my cousin from some generations back but now dear friend, is doing great stuff out there on his ancestral land at Peters Point, and would love your visits to his blog! He is doing organics in small scale right now, but it will grow:) I too believe that Hephzibah calls me, ha! Ephraim Mikell, my very early ancestor on Edisto was a Baptist! He was from Somersetshire England and came with a group of Dissenters before 1700. There was a VERY early Baptist Church on Edisto! (not included in Charles Spencer’s Edisto book). This is a true delight to hear from you.

  2. Paste says:

    This looks heavenly!

  3. Peter Hatten says:

    Hi Charlotte,
    Well yes, it is those Hutson genes that make art your calling. I see some remarkable similarities with great grand papa Charles Woodward Hutson in many of yours, such as Blue Pond, The Point, Forest Floor, Tree Cathedral (par example). Hope to see you again someday soon! peter hatten

  4. I am so honored by your comment, Peter. I went to the Ogden last year and was thrilled to see your great grand papa Charles Woodward Hutson artwork up on the walls there! Would love to see you both very soon. May I come to see you? Would love another CWH art tour! Love, cousin Charlotte

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What’s this?

Welcome to my blog about the Lowcountry of South Carolina, a place proud with beauty, history and art. Sometimes we feel a call, to be, to go, to do. I was called to be an artist, and as an old midwife from Alabama said, “If the good Lord wants you to do something, you won’t have no good luck until you do it.”

So here I am writing about what I know, about the 'under glimmer' as the poet Basho, says, the way I have learned to see, to notice. I am inspired by, and talking about the history and art and culture of this place that has called me to herself. By the ancestors.

My background includes a degree in fine arts from a small private college in Florida, and before that, four years of all girls' boarding school in Asheville. I worked as a professional photographer, helped my children grow up, and now and I love seasoned things, good food, better conversation, beauty, my beloved and beautiful Italian Greyhound, Beau. Moved by the sacred places and stories of this beautiful historic land called the Lowcountry, I am here in spirit and I hope to infect you with my love of this place.

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