It’s not just the sight of the fountains and waterfalls that beckon for a closer look. The sound of water itself reaches even farther, around corners and beyond sight lines, to soothe the senses as we peruse the plaza. That word itself belongs here in a special way. “Peruse,” to any English major would mean to read, in fact to read with thoroughness and care, missing nothing. One might peruse a report or survey, to take it all in.
Picturing the Pace
The gentle setting of The Shops at Sea Pines Center encourages us to peruse in a different sense. The native islanders who were here before us used that word to describe a pace, a way of walking, unhurried, relaxed, and flowing. To peruse your way down an oak-shaded path, to breathe in the fragrance of the spring, to think your own thoughts for a lovely little while – that’s the Gullah meaning for peruse.
We know a drummer who says he never could count the beat to reggae music until he saw how people walk in the Caribbean. That easy, yet clear tempo, the little hiccup in the middle of a measure that says we’re not in a hurry here, it’s not something you can read on a page of music. You must see and sense and feel the pace, the frame of mind that results in that rhythm. It’s somewhat the same with “peruse.”