Even leaving Martha’s Vineyard, as sad as it is, is beautiful. From the deck of the ferry, the coast is still. Watching it fade away, it’s as if you are re-entering time and space. As if the place you are leaving behind is outside of both and will remain absolutely the same until you return again. And of course, you will return again, on the same boat. Anticipating and eager.
Oak Bluffs, Martha’s Vineyard has such a rhythm for me. Dirty Bananas at Nancy’s. Crab burgers at The Lookout. Margaritas and trivia at Sharky’s. Donuts at Back Door Donuts. Ice cream at Mad Martha’s. Murdicks Fudge. Running into a tourist shop to buy a long sleeve tee to throw on when the sun sets. Planning to take the morning ferry home, then losing track of time an sprinting to catch the very last one. No matter how many times I leave this island and come back, everything here is always the same, almost frozen in time.
The music of the island. We lost ourselves in it, making friends, adding to the tab, not worrying about a thing in the world.
Gay Head Cliffs, Aquinnah, on a cloudy day. I’ve been coming to the Vineyard since high school. but this was the very first time I made it out to this corner of the island. When I was sixteen, my English teacher asked everyone in the class if we had been to the Aquinnah Cliffs. No one raised their hands; she was a bit flustered, then insisted we all must visit before we die. I understand why now.
Fun fact: the lighthouse is made out of clay from the cliffs, and it was recently moved back about a few hundred feet from the cliff’s edge to protect it from the consequences of erosion. It’s the second time in its long history that it has been moved. Yes, we climbed up to the top! The view is amazing, and it was worth the wait.
We woke up in the morning with the intention of taking bikes across the island, from Oak Bluffs to Aquinnah, but the weather gods had other plans for us. Instead, we jumped on the bus, maneuvering our way from the airport, to West Tisbury, through Chilmark, and eventually landing at the old fishing village of Menemsha. By then, it had stopped raining, but the haze remained. The harbor, quiet, but alive. Children fishing on the pier, families climbing across the jetty. Colors reflectinh naturally on the water, radiating against the pale blues and greys. It was misty, breezy. Hazy, as if we had accidentally stepped across the threshold into an alternate dimension. A fantasy land where the only noise is the sound of fishermen unloading their catch.
Pre-sunset, post-ferry at Edgartown Harbor. We took the ferry to the island from the mainland earlier in the afternoon, and after checking into our room, we caught the bus from OB. Detour to brewery on the main road, then wandering until we made it to town and beyond to the lighthouse. It’s like a painting to me. The colors are so, so vivid. The camera could never capture them. And then there’s the quiet and the salt. The sand in your feet, alone on the beach on an island in the middle of the sea.