It is one week before November on Martha’s Vineyard and aside from Irene’s sea-sprayed induced damage, the leaves on the trees remain green. The temperatures remain warmer than average. The tourists still roam the streets (literally) in shorts and T-shirts munching ice cream. My morning run around East Chop can still be done in just running shorts. The entire island seems to be stuck in September mode, which is fine by me.
September on island is quite possibly the best time to experience all there is to offer. This “hold mode” might feel like September in many ways, but there are definite differences; many businesses have closed, for the season or for good. Then again, that might be apropos, as the businesses are frozen in time, for better or worse.
The sunshine is a cruel illusion for those headed to the beach; the sun’s angle is low in the sky, the ocean water has grown colder, and the wind cuts coldly. Still, the brilliance of the light on the water and in the sky has made for some fabulous views at sunrise and sunset, even outside of Menemsha. Increasing the value of such gorgeous days is the fact that they have become so much shorter in the past few weeks, and that will be the case with each passing day, no matter how much longer these gems last.
Personally, I have found that I have more things “on hold” than I would prefer: the business, my finances, career opportunities and projects around the house. Most of those things will remain status quo for the time being, as my time is not yet my own; I have had only two days off since May at the writing of this blog. I just scheduled a few appointments for medical check-ups, which I have not had for several years. The appointments are for late December, ironically; the end of the year.
Still, I welcome the lingering late summer/early fall that has captured the Vineyard for the past few weeks. The high school Cross Country Team that I help coach has had a better than expected season; the weather has helped them both mentally and physically. The attitudes of the people on island have seemed to be mellow, as well; more smiles, longer visits, fewer curmudgeons. A few extra days of better weather makes everyone more appreciative of the good fortune of being here.
However, there is that nagging feeling that we will have to pay for this time sooner or later. I’m not alone in feeling this way, I’m sure. Maybe it will mean a colder January or February, perhaps another frigid spring. Everything seems to go in cycles and this is just one of many; weather, economy, and health.
What I do know is that everyone I mention this to agrees that we will take whatever we can get, for as long as it lasts, knowing that it could end at any time, whether we are discussing the weather, our fortunes, or our health. We all should take stock in what we have, for as long as we have it.