Stargazer Tigerlilly

Can you remember the last time you went to bed before nine o’clock? I can’t. Prior to last night.

It’s a little odd to have a weekday to one’s self: no deadlines, commitments, obligations. It enables one to walk out the back door for a quick peak at the bay, and keep walking ’til sundown. That was my Tuesday.

I started my day with a brisk run through on old farm adjacent to Hummock Pond. The sweaty, sandy, and completely solitary six miles culminated in a long soak in the cool Atlantic with nary a human soul in sight. I lay in the sand a minute imagining that I was stranded on a deserted island, caught my breath, then turned back to civilization.

Ah, civilization: Cape Cod Firecracker BBQ Potato Chips, Nantucket Nectars Fresh Pressed Apple Juice, and fresh-caught, fire-grilled Nantucket fluke on two pieces of buttered whole wheat bread with lettuce, Ken’s Steakhouse Dressing, and Swiss cheese. Now that’s a lunch worth writing about.

And then the walk. Massachusetts Avenue, the narrow sandy lane which Westwind cottage calls home, ends just a few feet from our front door. The remaining two miles of beach to the southwest tip of Nantucket is not navigable by means other than human. I didn’t mean to traverse the whole thing, I just kept walking.

It’s a little difficult to explain what it’s like out there on the point. One covers all sorts of ground en route: silky fine sand, coarse desert pavement, shallow mud flats, silty inlets. There is all sorts of debris: driftwood, crushed lobster traps, lost buoys, bottles of every stripe and size, bits of metal and plastic, one fully intact cooler. And one passes every variety of beach life: small fish, horseshoe crabs, conch, clam and oyster, egrets, seagulls, plovers, loons. Everything is alive. Once at the point itself, the shoreline meanders. The sea boils at the edges. The rest of the world seems a million miles away.

That is overwhelmingly the feeling here. And the stillness suits me fine. Yes, there is a gnawing sense of wanting to be in Manhattan. And yes, there is this short stack of homework — PADI certification, songwriting notes, business correspondence — that looms increasingly large. But for now, for me, it is the crickets, the waves, the wind, the birds, and this remarkably empty day free to unfold as it wishes.