To the Editor:
The day after Columbus Day was the last day for several of the summer ferries that bring the tourists to Oak Bluffs Harbor. Two weeks before, while taking a long walk, I took my shirt off because it was such a hot day. Today all is gray, the ocean is angry, pounding the sea wall with much percussion. It is always a bit of a shock on the system when you go from so much tourism and bustle to a complete standstill. As I gaze out at the empty harbor my mind wanders back in time to my first summer on Martha’s Vineyard 26 years ago.
I was working on the maintenance crew at Mattakesett Properties and standing out in the bright sunshine as a strong chill breeze tugged at my hair. My heart was heavy as I braced myself for a dreaded goodbye. Her name was Andrea, and she was from Rochester, New York (that’s all I can remember). She was a college kid, and it was time for her to depart the Island. Andrea was my beautiful summer romance. She approached me slowly with cloudy, wet eyes. No words were spoken as we embraced with the urgency of youth, knowing it would never be repeated. As long as I live, I’ll never forget the feelings that bubbled and stirred within me as she drove away. My feelings were deepened by the complete change in the atmosphere of the Island when the summer people vanish.
I celebrate the depth of human emotion, be it highs or lows. I’m never more alive than when mired in angst or spinning with joy.
This year has been nothing but a trial for me, in every way. As I watch the wind push the waves across the gray and chilly harbor, I’m reminded of those strong emotions and hang my head, as I will soon be saying farewell to a dear one, who holds my heart and will never be forgotten. I love you all.