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Under a Live Oak in Savannah

I had been to Savannah about ten years ago and saw the bench in Chippewa Square made famous by the movie Forrest Gump. That was a quick trip and no time for photos. I learned I missed a photo opportunity as the bench is no longer in the square, but now sits in a local museum.

This visit coincided with a family vacation to nearby Tybee Island. A trip made without my father who recently passed away. In Savannah, sprawling live oak trees, fountains and colorful cemeteries provided the perfect setting while thinking of a lost parent. To quote Forrest: "Mamma always said dying was a part of life." So here in the midst of beautiful public squares I was able to find some serenity while reflecting on my father and his life.

Savannah is much more than a movie setting. It is a symbol of strength and survival. Much of the city was spared the destruction of the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, so many of the older homes and buildings still stand. In Savannah, live oak trees create a canopy over much of the city offering shade from a hot summer day. The live oak is Georgia's state tree and is the southern symbol of strength. The trees are especially abundant in the more than twenty historic squares.

A good way to see the squares is on foot, even though you can surely embark on a guided trolley tour or horse-drawn carriage. But the best sights are within walking distance if you can physically cover a few miles, and if the heat and humidity isn't an issue. Just be sure to take along a camera for photos.

A visit to the Colonial Cemetery should be high on one's list of things to see in Savannah. Weathered tombstones, some centuries old, lie among blooming crape mrytle trees dressed in spanish moss.

A stop inside the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist is a must-see in Savannah. Even if you're not Catholic, its ornate beauty alone can give you religion.

Cemeteries and Churches are scenic places worth visiting. It's good for the soul. And that's all I got to say about that.


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