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Appreciating Nantucket

Even in Frigid February there is Something to Love

“Abundance is not something we acquire. It is something we tune into.”—Wayne Dyer

There is a lot of acquiring and a lot to be acquired on Nantucket. People buy nice homes, big homes, two homes, summer homes. They own sail boats or yachts. Some have Hummers and some have Land Rovers. For those of us who don’t have these things, it’s easy to fall into a mind-set of feeling deprived. But I like to look instead at what I do have here on Nantucket. 

Even on a frigid gray February day as yesterday was, Ike, Makita and I were able to get out for some air and a romp. As we navigated the icy Tupancy trail, a trail open for our walking pleasure, it got me thinking about how we can take Nantucket and its abundance for granted. 

When I lived in rural Maine (abundant in its own way), I used to long for places to walk that were accessible and maintained. The closest walk to my house was a trail around Lake Megunticook. Though gorgeous, it was a good 25 minutes from my house by car and did not allow dogs. I usually made do with a walk up my rural road, jumping headlong into the ditch every time a pick up truck blew by me at 60 mph.

On Nantucket, I have at least 40 walks to choose from, none of them farther than 15 or so minutes from my house, and the closest one right out my front door. I have beaches I can walk to every single day if I want. I have open space that is preserved for my use (almost half of the land on Nantucket, according to the Land Bank). I have exciting visitors in the summer and quiet solitude in the winter. I have a public library, a community theatre, two bookstores, lots of coffee shops, a range of restaurants, art galleries galore and sweet little Sconset to boot.

We don’t need to “own” something to appreciate it. We don’t have to have it inside our homes or on our own bodies or at our beck and call to enjoy it or experience it. Look around you. The beaches are there for your pleasure. The bike paths are public and there for your use. The beech trees, the mountain-bike trails, the snapping turtles, the moors, the fog, one of the starriest skies in the US. . . they’re all there for you to appreciate, and they don’t cost a thing.

Today, instead of complaining that tourists crowd us out in the summer and there’s nothing to do in the winter or that off-islanders are buying up Nantucket and on-islanders are apathetic, consider Rumi’s advice:

        “For one moment
          . . . hear blessings
         dropping their blossoms
         around you."