Whether as visitors or residents, whether you come to Hilton Head Island occasionally, or as a family tradition, or simply as a matter of coming home, exploring the island is a rewarding pastime that seems to go on forever. Just when we think we have experienced it all, we find something new and fascinating.

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

Beach lovers discover the Baynard ruins, foodies discover the rich theater scene, and golfers sigh with satisfaction when they see their children encounter the horses at Lawton Stables. Wherever your interests might have started, they are sure to find new territories as your relationship with Hilton Head Island grows and evolves.

Like a Light Switch

A kind of discovery that people make within themselves, as the nature of the island works its ways into our senses, is a new sense of who we are and what we are here to do. This came to light as we collaborated with local artists to organize our monthly, seasonal First Thursdays Art Market. The stories they shared included those who expanded the scope of their painting or sculpture when they found themselves surrounded with this peculiar Lowcountry kind of beauty – a look that seems forthright and mysterious at the same time. Many said that their art took on a new role in their lives when they, at last, had more time to devote to the practice.

Still others told us that they first discovered the artist within them when they came to Hilton Head Island. Some suspected that the sensibilities where there, if only career and family commitments had allowed the time. Yet still others had no inkling that they would turn out to be artists until they settled here. “It flipped on like a light switch,” one of the Sea Pines artists told us, about the realization that art was the subject of this chapter in his life.

Working Personal Miracles

Here, it seems, people make discoveries about themselves that simply would not have added up, from what they knew before they came to Hilton Head Island. If a miracle is an experience that occurs beyond the facts and powers that we knew before it, then what happened to a lot of folks here might surely qualify.

Discovering the artist within is, it seems, just one category of these miracles. On a different subject, and in a different scale, Volunteers in Medicine emerged here on Hilton Head Island. From the inspiration of retired physicians and nurses who saw the opportunity to put medical and dental care within reach of Islanders less fortunate and yet essential to the culture and economy and community of Hilton Head, VIM not only persisted and grew, but also extended eventually to a national alliance of free, primary care health clinics.

There are plenty of folks who believe that art itself is essential, and yet endeavors such as Volunteers in Medicine are further evidence that the discoveries people make within, when they embrace the beauty of life here, can turn out to be useful in many ways, both here and beyond.