The Sound

My Earliest Defining Moment That Shaped My Imagination as a Writer



I was five or six years old when we moved to the Sound in North Carolina. As a small child living on the military base, I found its rigid schedules and strict rules stifling. But, at the North Carolina Sound, I felt free and alive for the first time. The weight on my soul was lifted.

Our new house was right off the water, a football field length from the sound on a dirt road that held treasures of fossilized shells. A dock sat at the water’s edge at the end of this dirt road and stretched out over the tranquil blue-green expanse. I spent hours wading around in the water and watching the tide ripples go in and out. I waded through seaweed filled with crabs, scallops, stingrays, and any other sea life imaginable. It was peaceful and serene, a far cry from the chaos and noise of jets taking off and landing at the base.

No longer confined to military housing in a small apartment, I could roam and explore to my heart’s content. The marshes and forests were my playground, and I reveled in the freedom they offered. I could feel my imagination expanding and my sense of wonder growing as I discovered new paths and secret hideaways through the pine woods that surrounded our house.

My parents were happy, and for a little while, we all found inspiration in the natural beauty around us. We would all go fishing off the local pier in the nearest town. Afterward, we ate at the restaurant at the end of the pier. The hushpuppies were my favorite.

The Marine Corps reassigned my dad, and he was sent to Japan, which left my mom to go out and work a job in a nearby town. My sister and I stayed home with a local teenage babysitter and captured the essence of Sound living.

Looking back, I realize that those early years at the Sound shaped me in more ways than I could have imagined. It was in the woods and water that I found my true self. Away from the chaos of the military base, surrounded by the majesty of nature, I felt a sense of tranquility. The salt air, the gentle rustling of pine trees, the distant call of a bird — all of it came together to form a symphony that soothed my young troubled soul.

It was there that I learned to appreciate the simple joys of nature, to treasure the moments of stillness and peace, and to find solace in knowing the voice of God. In the woods, I developed a new way of experiencing life.

I wandered through the endless expanse of greenery and waded in the water along the coast. Filled with a sense of wonder, I would explore the world around me. Every step I took felt closer to my true self, and I grew to know who I was inside. Who God had created me to be.

The countryside embraced me with open arms, and I embraced it back, my heart overflowing with gratitude and love. In that serene setting, I found my purpose, calling, and inner peace. And for that, I will forever be grateful to God.




Monica Broussard is a Writer, and Speaker, with a Life Coach Certification. She occasionally writes for her hometown SeaCliff Living Magazine.