A love affair in memory


To the Editor:

This is a Letter to the Editor of the MVTimes delayed. It was my intention to write before ushering in the new year on the Vineyard, to express my heartfelt gratitude to her for being there for me but never did. Then last Sunday, I came upon James Lengyel’s article “For the Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank, less is more.” And so I began traveling back in time. Twelve months on the Vineyard, more or less. And still counting.

First comes securing lodging, then the bus for Woods Hole, then the Steamship Authority. Getting here. Arriving in Vineyard Haven. Then the VTA and the Land Bank. Happy wheels and happy trails never far away. Public transportation and public trails of joy. Witnessing the rhythms of nature. From naked trees into buds blooming into Emerald City on North Road. Green as far as the eye can see from a bus window. Then summer, longer walks and naps on the beach. Then falling leaves. Bursts of colors. A beautiful fall. Black water glistens in the fall sunlight. A symphony. The music of nature. And back to winter. The Black Dog lobster specials of days past. Closed for renovations. Discovering other eating places. Perhaps a community dinner. Or a lobster roll at the church. The Net Result, Vineyard Haven. Very satisfied. Walks to the West Chop lighthouse. Endless ways the Vineyard fills my heart with music.

Walking in the woods. My limbs reaching for the golden disk by day and the moon by night. Experiencing the joy of my own body in motion. Walking. Moving one foot in front of the other. An unexpected adventure. January 2013. Snow accumulation at Waskosim’s Rock. Being in Vermont without leaving the Island. A blanket of white snow covering the ground. Leaving my footprints in the snow. And chopping ice on the orange trail in Tiasquam Valley. Safe passage into the trail that leads to Middle Road.

I would like to live on the Vineyard forever, but it’s not in the cards for me. Limited resources. So I imagine myself a tree in a sunny field. Perhaps Blackwater. A tree claiming empty space. All the space I need to bloom and grow forever. Free space. Reaching for the golden disk by day and the moon at night. Blackwater bursting with sunshine during the day and sparkling with stars at night. Pure beauty.

Just taking up all the space I need to be content. My earthly space. The bounty of nature. A tree in a field surrounded by all my beloved friends. Blades of grass. Flowers, running deer… I love Mother Nature. The invisible force with the power to alter landscapes. Lucy Vincent Beach. Another form of beauty. I love it all. Especially the song of the sea. The idea of order in Key West. Wallace Stevens. A roaring surf and rolling white waves. Lucy Vincent Beach. Happy.

Pure imagination. What is real. What is true. My heart and soul will live on the Vineyard forever. Delightful memories etched in my memory bank. The Vineyard gave me the gift of becoming a child. Running in the woods, footloose and fancy free. Running free in the woods bursting with joy. Away from all the voices. Leaving all the engines of progress behind. Tall buildings and gray walls.

Just walking in the woods. Experiencing the wonders of Mother Nature. Feeling happy. And safe from harm.

The joys of being a happy child running free in the woods. Forever.

Rachel Schmoker

Vineyard Haven and Boston