Journey to Martha’s Vineyard: Let me try to explain…

Did you ever go on vacation and get the feeling that you wanted to move there?  Maybe you found yourself missing it for weeks upon return?  I have made those type of trips too.  In my mid twenties I tried to convince myself that I could live in St. Lucia and support myself by selling homemade soaps and tending bar.  I could live off of the land for food. I could get by on a mango a day.  No, I didn’t entertain that thought for very long.

The point is that I was in love with the destination.  Being in love with a destination is different than what I’m about to describe. This is about a connection.  I have been coming to Martha’s Vineyard for half of my life. When asked to describe it, the words flow easily.  However, while headed there on the ferry, I get a feeling that is profound and  personal. For years I have struggled for the words to define it until now. Let me try to explain..

After making the long trek to Woods Hole from Pittsburgh, I arrive on a Friday afternoon. After driving my car into the hull of the ship, I make my way upstairs to have a glass of wine and enjoy the view.  I settle into my seat with Howard, my lovable but sometimes disgruntled Corgi. We can talk about Howard at another time. He needs his own post.

Here I am surrounded by familiar strangers. Some of them are young with families, while others appear to be islanders who are returning from a long day. I hear laughter coming from a group who have begun their celebration with a round of drinks.  As I see it, the trip aboard the ferry can be either ceremonious or reflective.

By the time I finish my wine, it is almost time to arrive. I have managed to find a seat with a gorgeous view of what lies ahead. Suddenly I see it…that familiar strip of land.  A watercolor picture of pristine homes and ships slowly coming into focus. Soon we will be docking.

And then it happens to me…The feeling that I have come home.  I am embarrassed to admit that sometimes I could cry. My spirit is light and I am in the moment.  It is now time to head to my car and Howard is grumbling like a little old man. He is letting me know that he is tired of everyone on the ship including me.  I can’t help but laugh at him as I head down the stairs and towards my car. Life is good.  I am here.

I thought that I would never admit those feelings to anyone until now.  Over the years I’ve heard countless stories from friends recounting the same process of unraveling feelings as they draw closer to shore. I just listen and smile as they try to explain it.

People that visit and live here seem to grasp it. That quiet understanding about being on a journey and how life is more than posting the best social media photo.

I just returned a few weeks ago and I miss it already. It’s a place where each town has a different vibe and you can feel the history. Where wildflowers are sold on an old wooden stand along a winding road and horses run free in the fields. Here you will find pastel pink and periwinkle blue hydrangeas growing near an ever changing sea. Even the crickets have their own symphony at night. I never heard them play like that at home.

I often refer to Martha’s Vineyard as,”my peace.” Those are the two words that apply best. If a place can center you, keep your secrets, and lull you to sleep every night-that’s pretty amazing. It makes sense to start this blog by writing about a place that is always present in my soul…I hope that I did it justice.

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Add Your Comment
    • Crystal
    • July 27, 2017

    Wonderful writing! Here’s to your great success in your new adventure! Love you, Natalie. You always make me smile

    • Bob
    • July 27, 2017

    Love this blog!

    • Carol Capezzuto
    • July 27, 2017

    Do what you love…..and love what you do!!! Enjoy your new journey 😊

    • Sharon
    • July 27, 2017

    So good to see you living your dream, Natalie! So happy for you and proud of you! Wishing you all the best!! Can’t wait to read more! Love ya! Sharon

    • Christa Scaife
    • July 27, 2017

    Natalie, I am so happy for you as you begin this new adventure! Enjoyed your post. Looking forward to reading more.

    • Angela "Angie" Austin
    • July 28, 2017

    Wishing great success and love that you are living your dream!!!

    • Tracy Ritz
    • July 28, 2017

    I have never been to Martha’s Vineyard….I’ve heard about it many times….and now through your writing I feel like I have been….You have a gift….I felt like I was on the Ferry with you and Howard, and I could feel your sense of peace and anticipation of arriving! No, I haven’t been there, but because of how you described it, I want to go… will be a destination to strive for , and experience it for myself!
    Thanks for sharing your heart and your passion….God has gifted you with words! Wishing you great success as you embark on this new adventure!

  1. Angie; I finally have my comments fully working. I should have known that when I opened this for the
    first time that I would see something from you. It surprised me but it didn’t. You and I are on the same walk and I think that the day I met you God blessed me with a good friend. Thank you

  2. Carol; I cannot thank you enough for the kind words. It didn’t surprise me that you would do that
    as you have always been just a genuinely nice human being. Thank you

  3. Your support means so much to me. What I am doing means so much to me. The fact that you
    get that is completely awesome and so you.

    • Susan Blair
    • September 29, 2021

    Well I appreciate the connection you have with the island and it was a lot of reading I just find a couple of words that describe what happens when you go to the island …”soul shine”

    • Edward Casselberry
    • September 29, 2021

    Finally the words that define my love for this place. I often say that from a young child on the island in the 1950’s to our annual trip back to this place, that it in fact Hypnotizes Your Soul.
    Thank you so much for your words. In my spirit the Vineyard will always be Home.

  4. Edward;
    Thanks for taking the time and stopping by…Your words are correct, the vineyard does hypnotize your soul in such a lovely way. I agree, I will always call it home too.

  5. Yes it is soul shine Susan. Two lovely words that capture the feeling. I love hearing about people’s experiences. It has inspired me to write my book. Here’s to many years of enjoying this special place.

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