This past week I have been on a Nantucket high. From beach parties with friends to lighthouse visits, lots and lots of swimming, and beautiful boats, I kept feeling like I should be pinching myself. This is our third summer here and I still can’t quite believe it. At moments, the beauty and magic of it all nearly takes my breath away and all I can think is, my goodness, we live here...we are raising our daughter here. I remember visiting Chris that summer five years ago (when he worked at 21 and I stayed home in New York), before we were even thinking of kids, and walking hand-and-hand through town discussing what felt like a silly fantasy: “Could you imagine if we lived here?” I still feel the giddy excitement of visiting houses and apartments as we prepared to move here, wanting to shout at everyone I walked past that it was really happening, that we were about to start our dream life in the dream place. Three years later, some of the newness has worn off: I can more easily walk up Main Street without having to look in every shop window and I’m well aware of some of the costs associated with island living, but I still have these moments of wonder.
Moments when we decide on a whim to meet friends for a swim and arrive at the ocean just 15 minutes later.
When we plan a little more in advance and get together with a big group for a sandy potluck
complete with a fire pit
and roasted marshmallows,
(one of my few exceptions to HFCS).
In these moments, just feet from Atlantic waves hitting the shore, I just feel so incredibly lucky to be living here and to be giving this childhood to Nora.
There were so many moments like that in the past few days, I could hardly catch my breath.
We spent afternoons at the playground,
visiting lighthouses under perfect blue skies,
and dipping our toes in the sea.
As is our habit, we hardly used the car, instead walking or biking everywhere.
We stopped to smell flowers, inspect every rock and interesting crevice,
admire quaint Nantucket cottages,
and splash in as many puddles as we could find.
We watched ferry boats come in,
bringing visitors to the island.
We ran barefoot in the grass
and climbed trees in the Atheneum garden.
We toured a reproduction of an 1812-era topsail schooner privateer, pretending to be sea captains
And we joined crowds of tourists and islanders
for the end of Race Week’s Rainbow Fleet Parade,
standing ankle deep at Brant Point to watch sails of every color glide past us on friendly waves.
Seeing Nora’s excitement and joy through it all made each moment even more amazing.
I am thankful for Nantucket not just because of the beauty and happiness it provides me, but also because of the extraordinary experiences it provides Nora. On one hand, our lifestyle here is very simple. We largely walk and bike, we visit the same parks, playgrounds, and stores, all in less than a two-mile radius. On the other, Nantucket has so many experiences that were unavailable to me as a child. Even though we leave just once or twice per year, I’ve yet to feel claustrophobic, instead celebrating the ease at which Nantucket brings us closer to our goal of living simply, and the many big city benefits wrapped up in a little-town package. In case you can’t tell, I think this place is darn near perfection and I can’t imagine ever choosing to live somewhere else. And, I think Nora would agree too.