By: Robyn Parrish-Hill
It beckons to me whispering, “Come and see. Come and see.” I am drawn to this life force, intoxicated by the beauty that Mother Nature has so lovingly created. My words are silenced by the sweet song of the gentle waves that caress the shore. Echoes of the past slowly creep around my soul. The restlessness that is life fades away and I find myself home. Humbling the proudest of men, the Apalachicola and its threads of life are an essential life force. Hauntingly beautiful, the waters carry many mysteries that we have yet to unfold.
Unselfish and deliberate, the Apalachicola has given much to many. It has fed the souls of the anguished and the bellies of the hungry. It has quenched the thirst of men who seek the true meaning of life. It has answered the call for those who were lost and allowed them to find themselves once more. It speaks promises of a better tomorrow when the day is done.
It is always ourselves we find in the river. A delicate balance of humanity and water, we have a duty to fulfill to maintain our oath to protect it from harm. However, instead of its protector we have become its Achilles’ heel, the weakest link in its survival. We have taken advantage of what it has so generously provided to us and turned our backs on it in its greatest hour of need. As mighty as it may be, it is dependant on humanity. We are its keeper and it is ours.
We have come to a crossroads where we have to make a choice. Shall we continue to bleed it dry for the sake of the dollar or shall we take on the challenge of saving an American treasure, a unique ecosystem that rivals any in the world? Shall we continue to turn our backs on it as it pleads for help or shall we give it all that we have to save it in the name of humanity? For we have a choice to make that is ours alone. Unselfish and deliberate in our cause we must be before it no longer beckons, “Come and see.”
Robyn Parrish-Hill is a resident of Calhoun County. She is a graduate of Florida State University with a Masters in Education and currently teaches 2nd Grade at Blountstown Elementary School. Robyn is actively involved with her community through pageantry and currently serves on the Miss Northwest Florida Pageant Board, advocating the importance of promoting what is unique and special about Northwest Florida to girls and young women.