South Carolina is everywhere!

No, it’s not perfect. But let’s see you do better, driving over asphalt with rubber tires.

At least, it’s cropping up everywhere you look in national media right now. For fairly obvious reasons.

That will end soon enough. But I will continue to see it everywhere I look. I always have.

Do you? I’m curious whether this is a South Carolina native thing, or just a South Carolina resident thing. Or (and this seems less likely), do folks from other parts see the same shape?

This tendency is embedded pretty deep in me. My first memories of doing this are from my birthplace, Bennettsville. Behind my grandparents’ home, at the foot of the back steps, were some white flagstones. They gave an impression of being marble because of the color, but had a sort of hexagonal design. Not that they were shaped like hexagons like so many such stones you see. I mean there were these black lines etched across the surface in a honeycomb pattern, with each hexagon a little more than a square inch in size.

The overall shape of each stone was random, like the pieces of some larger slab that someone had broken up with a sledgehammer.

But one of them looked exactly like South Carolina. As a child, there was nothing random about that to me — of course it was shaped like that, I thought. I spent most of my school years elsewhere — in Virginia, New Jersey, Louisiana, Florida, Hawaii and South America. But that house was the one place I always returned to. It was home, or the closest thing I had to a home growing up. And the fact that one of the features of this house was this stone that was “randomly” shaped like South Carolina seemed to be something of cosmic significance.

I’d show you a picture of it, if I could go there and take one. But you can’t see it now. Decades ago, my uncle — who has lived in that house his entire life (he’s the opposite of me in that respect) — built a deck at the back door. I can’t remember whether the stone is just hidden away, or gone. Anyway, it’s no longer in evidence.

But still, since that one perception early in life, I’ve seen the shape everywhere else. In a stone, or a pancake that was carelessly (or extremely carefully) poured into the pan, or a torn piece of a roofing shingle. I’m not just talking about triangles. I’m talking about triangles that manage to imitate the less regular border with North Carolina. Triangles that look intentional.

And it always seems significant to me, in a fundamental, subrational way. Like someone has put it there as a message or something.

I don’t always take pictures when I see one. But the other day on one of my walks around the neighborhood, I saw the road cracks you see above. I don’t know why I’d never noticed the pattern before. Maybe the cracks were new. Anyway, this time, I shot a picture.

Do you see thing like that, too?

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