During the July edition of our First Thursdays Art Market, a look around the lush plaza of The Shops at Sea Pines Center prompted us to marvel at the persistence and energy behind this seasonal, monthly event. In the face of unusually high heat and an uncharacteristically steady rain, six local artists and four local musical performers were holding forth, despite the unfavorable weather.

Morbi vitae purus dictum, ultrices tellus in, gravida lectus.

The Bermuda awnings that front many of our merchants and restaurants served as a sort of refuge, and yet what was remarkable, really, was the happy looks we saw on the faces of the artists who braved these conditions to share their work, the product of their talents and persistence – no matter what.

The Riddle of the Tree

It reminded us of that well-known riddle: If a tree falls alone in the forest, with no other creature around, does it make a sound? The passions and powers of perception within each of the exhibiting First Thursdays artists would be only internal sensations if not for their willingness to bring them out into the world through the application of heart and hands. Yet, even after fulfilling that impulse to create, their art would hardly have come to life, if not shared with the folks who come to peruse the exhibit.

By the way, the most advanced physicists since the mid-1950s have seriously considered that the answer to that tree riddle might be much more surprising than we at first realize. Quantum mechanics seem to open up the possibility that we live in what those physicists call “a participatory universe.”

No Life without Awareness

Whether all matter is subject to this observation, we leave it to others to answer, yet when it comes to art, we are pretty sure. Without someone to appreciate it, art has not fully come to life.

This is why we so profoundly appreciate the persistence, the resilience, of the artists and musicians who bring the First Thursdays Art Market to life each month. We are proud and grateful, too, that the merchants and restauranteurs of The Shops at Sea Pines Center share that same incomparable value – the willingness and ability to keep showing up, no matter what.

Adventures Ahead

It has been more than two years now, and yet the lesson still lives within us. In the face of a global pandemic, the merchants and restauranteurs of The Shops at Sea Pines Center found ways to continue serving their faithful clientele in this same spirit – no matter what. We installed a big poster, facing Lighthouse Road, as the precautions began. It pictured a graceful swimmer in a tank suit. headed for the surface. The words of the poster read, “Adventures are ahead. This will not last forever.”

We were sure we meant that; we just were not exactly sure how we would achieve it. The answer was in evidence, in a subtler way, at the First Thursdays Art Market last week. We did it no matter what.

Please join us and celebrate your own persistence and resilience, the gratifying achievement of being here today. Let’s enjoy the flourishing results of carrying on in the spirit that brought all of us here, to this beautiful and abundant place.