Deep Bottom Cove, Martha's Vineyard, MA, Sept. '08
After days of literally obsessing over photos and considering ideas as to how to organize and present them in a book, (right now I'm thinking blurb is the way to go) I still feel unprepared to express myself fully about the experiences we shared as a family.
I know this: I have been longing for water in my life. Longing for the sharp contrast of uncertainty and surety, of risk and safety between wet and dry. Longing for the freedom I felt as a child digging into the sandy Massachusetts shore of Cranes Beach, and the thrill of the cutting wind I felt as a young adult learning to windsurf in a hearty chop. Having that desire realized last week on the raw, rugged shoreline, and the smell and splash of salt on my face, had me catching my breath as the little skiff bounced along down to the sea. To my daughters plea of "when we will get there?" I could only think 'why rush this? This is life. This is IT.'
Vacations can be restorative. Travel can be transformative. We all expect some degree of that, but the real surprise to me was a realization of how numbly absent I've been going through my daily life. Feeling that sort of thrill in my core exposed a divide between how much vibrancy is offered in this world, and how little I have allowed in on an everyday basis.
We ate out only once on arrival (for lack of groceries) and once to grab a sandwich before catching the ferry back to the Cape. After a few brief stops -- a lighthouse, a charming town -- we thought okay, did that, and quickly decided where we really wanted to be. The lure for us was the cottage and her self-contained joys.
The reason for our visit was partly due to a kind and generous offer, and in part for Paul's professional advice about taking what has been a family heirloom of forty years into the next fifty. We both came away feeling that while her systems may need updating, there is so much to maintain and respect about this special place. At every turn we felt a very personal history displayed through organized collections: wine bottles, animal bones, fishing lures, local pottery, a driftwood mobile, and well-thumbed books.
The range of birds on Tisbury Great Pond and along the seashore was remarkable: great blue herons, huge flocks of Double Crested Cormorants, dozens of the most adorable sandpipers, an eagle, hawks, all kinds of gulls, (of course) and a pair of enormous, majestic Mute swans.
Though I'm still deciding which photos to share and to use, and I haven't even uploaded Paul's camera yet, I have put about 50 on flickr. If you would like accompaniment try this song, by Entrain, and then go to the slide-show link. We heard it while waiting for the ferry home on the excellent island radio station WMVY.