Early-summer musings

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To the Editor:

Morning bike rides are my favorite way to start the day. The humidity, being slightly higher, creates enough weight in the air that the scents of wild roses and earthy pine hang in the breeze as my bicycle skims along the bike path winding through the State Forest. I ride soaking in the glorious nature which surrounds this Island community. Wild daisies dance among the tall grass. Soft ferns are juxtaposed with the paved path. Various hues of green trees are majestic against the blue, blue sky. Puffy white clouds ride the upper winds across that backdrop.

Today, my early-morning bike ride was especially sweet, probably having to do with my state of mind, state of spirit, feeling connected to, nurtured by this Island, this piece of rock sitting in the sea. Heading toward home, I pass the Lagoon with a family of swans gliding along the calm, dark water. Mom and Dad so white — the cygnets fluffy, dark in color, safely camouflaged while paddling furiously to stay close to their parents.
It occurs to me that there are other communities across the country, the world where people feel like I do about this Island. And I know that we are truly lucky to live in a place which is safer than most. More natural than many. For me, that’s part of why I choose to be here.
As my day progressed these feelings were highlighted even more. Speaking with a dear friend about the fifth grade graduation ceremony at the Chilmark School, I heard in her voice how much she appreciates and needs this community.
Raising the next generation to be kind, compassionate people. People who support their local farms, who live, play, and eat close to the earth and sea. People who will be authentic; some of them will chose not to live here, others will stay, still others will leave then return. I hope for them no matter where they go these connections to community, earth, and natural living will reside within their spirits. Perhaps creating a siren song which calls them home when life gets out of balance or scary.
A trip to Morning Glory Farm turns out to be nirvana in the form of freshly picked strawberries. I swear I could taste the sun with each bite. While there, among the native fruits and veggies as well as those from “across the pond” somewhere, I was reminded of our planet. The native berry crops were right next to crops from Carlson Orchards in Massachusetts, which were next to melons from afar. They created their own United Nations of food.

And the people — Islanders, seasonal residents, and visitors, along with workers from other countries, here for the summer. All of us brought together by this natural, whole food, good for our bodies and souls. I hope those who visit here get to connect to some of this during their stay. I hope they can unplug enough to let our Island seep into their bones. Eat the juicy strawberries, smell the wild roses, roll in the sand, let the sweet grass tickle your bare toes, and be sure to gaze at the moon, for she shines down on us as a guiding light.

Susan Desmarais

Oak Bluffs