SUNSET BEACH, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – With the ocean on one side and the dunes on the other, it’s a straight path.
But even then, there are moments when uncertainty can set in, and all that’s left is trust.
“It’s making it a good day to come. It’s beautiful,” said Cindy Carman.
Then, there it is.
A weathered, rusted mailbox in the middle of nowhere whose home address is “Kindred Spirit.”
The uninhabited western end of Sunset Beach is known as Bird Island; the two were once separated, but years of tropical storms have closed the gap.
The mailbox has called Bird Island home since 1975. It’s always full of a few notebooks and pens for anyone to write out their worries, joys, and stories.
Sunset Beach residents get plenty of inquiries about it.
“It’s not unusual to be stopped by someone on the street and say, do you know where the mailbox is? The Kindred Spirit mailbox? Can you tell me how to get there?” smiled Katie Hovermale.
For decades, the caretaker of the mailbox was kept secret until Frank Nesmith came forward.
He passed away in 2020, but his final words to those kindred spirits are in every notebook.
“I can’t make this trip anymore, but you kindred spirits continue to come. Keeper of the kindred spirit mailbox,” Katie read.
“You don’t realize what you have until it’s gone, so you should live every day,” said Cindy.
Cindy has been waiting a while for this walk. In her hands was a letter to her husband of almost 45 years, Joe.
He passed away suddenly.
“It’s been like a hug,” said Cindy.
At first glance, the mailbox seems lonely out there in the dunes. But the countless footprints show that’s not the case.
“Everybody has the same feelings,” said Cindy, reading over the notebooks in the mailbox.
There aren’t many guarantees in life.
It won’t always be easy and may not always be happy, but no one journeys alone.