Year End on the Vineyard

For the last few weeks, I’ve been putting off a weekend trip out to Martha’s Vineyard waiting for a decent window of weather to enjoy some time outdoors. With the year ending, I felt like I wanted to make it out there one last time in 2018 and this past weekend ended up being the time to make it happen. When the alarm went off at 5:00AM on Sunday morning, I definitely wasn’t feeling up to dragging myself out of bed and driving an hour to the ferry. Any logical person would probably just take a later ferry, but if I was going to go all the way out there, I wanted to catch a sunrise and sunset, and the next day (NYE) was looking rainy. This year more than ever, I have realized if you want to do something for yourself, you can’t sit around and wait for the “right time” to make it happen. There is never a right time, you just have to go. 

I took off around 5:30, with the help of Starbucks downtown being open at 5AM every single day (lifesaver). My timing was either a little off, or just right depending on how you look at it, but I arrived at Woods Hole at exactly 6:58 hoping to catch the 7:00 ferry and leave my car parked at the ferry terminal. I made a quick decision, realizing there simply was not enough time to park the car and take the shuttle bus to the ferry, buy the ticket, and board, so I drove right up to the ferry queue and took the truck over. Aside from two 18-wheelers, I was probably the only other vehicle on the ferry, and one of very few individual passengers. In hindsight, having the truck was the best decision because even though the buses on MV are really great, I wanted to explore some parts of the island that the buses don’t go to and just for time’s sake it made the most sense. If you go to MV in the winter, I’d recommend bringing a vehicle. In the summer, leave it behind, because driving and parking on the island during the busy season is hell.

I was driving off the ferry at 7:45, and since it was a cloudy morning, the sunrise was drawn out a bit which gave me enough time to drive over to Aquinnah. I drove around Chilmark and Aquinnah, taking in all of the calm and quiet landscapes that pop up around every corner. Lucy Vincent Beach was my first stop before heading over to the cliffs in Aquinnah. There’s something equally beautiful about the island in the winter that makes it a totally different world in so many ways. The twisted trees and deep oranges of dead brush and beach grass, endless beaches with no one in sight. I drove all around the island, stopping in Menemsha for awhile, over to Edgartown and Chappy for a bit, and ended up back in Chilmark for sunset. Martha’s Vineyard is still very new to me, having only visited a handful of times before and not for the first time until 2016. The island feels enormous when you start driving around, and in the winter, you can cover a lot more ground than you would in the summertime. 

This was my last trip of 2018 but since I’m writing this here on January 1st, I guess it’s my first post of the new year. 2018 was without a doubt a really amazing year with so much to be thankful for, and it seems like collectively, it was a good year for most people. Better than, say, the demoralizing and defeating year of 2016. Unfortunately, I know it was also in many ways not a good year for some people, but years are something we as human beings invented to allow ourselves to chronicle time in a manageable, understandable way. They’re made up, and you can put as much or as little stock into the idea of “good” and “bad” years. The only reality is that there will be phases throughout your life, many of which will be good, and many of which will seem bad. Not that this is a new revelation, but the good will never seem as good as it actually is until you’re dealing with the bad. Every new day is really something to be thankful for, and a chance to go in whatever direction you’d like. To anyone who actually reads this: I hope your year ahead is filled with phases that challenge you, invite risk, push you into the unknown, and lead you towards something meaningful that you have chosen to pursue. Treat your body and mind well, be kind to everyone you encounter, listen when other people speak, and savor it all. Happy 2019!