So I just hit this little gem of a pissant thing (yep - it is already that type of day):

RAILS_ENV=development rails c
/Users/sjohnson/.rvm/gems/ruby-2.7.0/gems/railties- `database_configuration': Cannot load database configuration:
Could not load database configuration. No such file - ["config/database.yml"] (RuntimeError)

The issue was that I changed my underlying project directory and then had to re clone at the git level. The culprit, naturally, was Spring so it took a:

bin/spring stop
bin/spring start

And this time, I actually put the answer into Stack Overflow; I wonder if it will get accepted.