Sometimes the littlest decisions change our lives, reroute us toward our destiny without even our awareness, so quite, no fanfare, like a soft breeze willing us to follow the source. That was me on the short ferry ride from Woods Hole Massachusetts to my first visit to the little island of Martha’s Vineyard so long ago. With my limited knowledge of the island I was totally unprepared for my reaction as I descended the ferry to the dock in Vineyard Haven. Surprisingly I felt resuscitated, alive, welcomed, like I was returning home to a familiar destination as I had done so many times before: that feeling stayed with me throughout my visit on this quintessential New England coastal island. My kinship to the charming island, not more than 100 square miles, continues to this day even after a long absents. Once again I find I am inexplicably beckoned, drawn, so strong the pull like a forceful undertow gaining momentum after every visit that my husband and I made the commitment to the island purchasing a vacation home. We sold our mountain lake home deep in the bucolic White Mountains of New Hampshire trading the mountains and lake for sea and sand, never looking back or regretting our decision.
Once committed to our search for our home, which at first we believed would be an easy task, stretched to a two year hunt as we explored the diversely different towns on the island . What happened as we looked for just the right house was we discovered how lacking we were in our knowledge of the six towns with totally different ambiance. Learning more about the different towns of Martha’s Vineyard was almost as enjoyable as finding the right location and home for us. Just when house hunting fatigue along with discouragement seemed to overwhelm our mission we found our perfect home.
Six months after settlement on our home with a major renovation finally complete I am enjoying our first season on the island rekindling my love affair started so many year ago. Whether I am stopped as I turn the corner on Main Street in West Chop by the majestic beauty of the sun setting just begging to be viewed or watching the old style schooners in Edgartown harbor with canvas sails blown straight by a fierce wind I hear the island softly whispering her call, you are home. Like the sirens in Greek mythology singing the sailors to their destiny the island though in this instance a benevolent voice calls me to my future, my next chapter. Endless possibilities flower just for me reminding me of the plentiful hydrangeas flourishing in the sandy soil bathed in the nourishing sea air decorating gardens. Here on this island, my new home, I too will grow like the large trees at our new home setting down deep strong roots weathering life’s storms bending sometimes against uncontrollable forces though never losing hold in the sandy earth securely anchored by my connection to this resplendent island.
Some days I forget that I am a new transplant to the island feeling like I am the preverbal old shoe so conformably worn then at other times upon discovering a new vista or peaceful setting to enjoy the waves crashing against the shore, I realize I am a novice on the island. I take heart that I have more discoveries, outstanding explorations ahead of me, each day a new journey. Not wanting to lose all that I am experiencing I have started a new journal chronicling my days on the island to preserve my memories never losing the excitement of exploration. Some days I am like a cartographer mapping my daily island excursion to maximize my adventure, on other days I wonder spontaneously like a nomad roaming aimlessly without a blueprint. Each day unique, a new adventure cognizant that we never fully understand how life’s random choices lead us to the place meant just for us. And I a fledging explorer embracing the recentness that awaits me on the voyages tethered to this magical island forever embedded in my heart.