Where can we find the Cape and Islands at their essence? Step outside, inhale deeply, and look around. It’s right in front of us.
Getting outdoors in the summer is what we wait all year for. In the spring, we fork over paychecks for a Thule rack and fix the dings on the gear in our basement. We cut back on carbs and hit the gym to get the looks and the stamina to enjoy the warmest months. We book the cottage and give thanks for so few snow days piled on to our kids’ school calendar. We count ourselves among the lucky because we found a mooring.
When the sun comes, that’s all it takes. We are beholden to fresh air in high doses. We’re tending our gardens before breakfast. We spend lunch breaks with our toes in the water. After work is done, we race against fading sunlight, bartering speeding tickets just to cast a line off the pier. On the long weekends we push through parking lots on Route 6, never wavering, never even considering getting off at the next exit. We’ve come this far, and we’re not turning back.
Sometimes this obsession with sun doesn’t pay off. By the time we turn into the parking lot at Nauset, the waves have turned flat and unrideable. After we finish plowing through chores and get ready to absorb some vitamin D, the first raindrops fall and don’t stop. Maybe, we think upon seeing the latest repair invoice, it would be better to be the friend of a guy who has a boat.
But even though it doesn’t always pay off, it’s always worth it to get outside. We find comfort on a trail underneath a cocoon of trees, the spray whipping up as we motor through Nantucket Sound, or just lazing in the hammock, our noses in a book and eyelids dropping. It’s where we forge the bonds of family and friendship, and craft those indelible memories that keep us coming back. In all those childhood trips for ice cream, how many waffle cones did we hold with hands that were salt stained from a day at the beach?
There is a price to pay, of course. We have to pry ticks off of our legs and our dogs, and we have to spend a few days soaking lobster-red skin in aloe. But it’s always worth it. Today is a good day to be outside.
Jeff Harder, Managing Editor