Sunday, March 20, 2011

Side-Road Living

It's exactly 5.6 miles from our drive to the Stop & Shop.

To get there you have to drive past an alpaca farm, stop at the only blinker light on the island, pass a rural funeral home and the small regional high school.
The only thing you miss on this simulated life path is the hospital.
On the 5.6-mile run, you get it all - birth, road stops, school, life, and the hereafter.

Not that that's important. What's important is that you get to "see" so much life along the roads in-between.

On this particular road, I can see on winter days, the Lagoon just barely peeking through the woods, sparkling water, deep, deep blue. And I can see the alpacas grazing in the meadow on sunny afternoons.

At the crossroads blinker, I can hear, in the close distance, whether my husband's plane is making final approach, and how much time I have till he hits the front sidewalk of the tiny airport entrance.

And, when I pass the local garden center, I breathe in the heady, earthy smells of spring and mulch and the hint of hope bursting forth.

alpaca farm

Past the funeral home is a long stand of pine and shrub oak that line the way of the Wildlife Preserve. If I have an extra 5, which I usually do, I can turn down any side road on the left after that, and make my way to Sengekontacket Pond and the Boulevard that runs along the inlet's edge.

Bumping my way past the Rod & Gun Club, past the marshes teaming with unseen life, I end up at the public landing - a small sandy parking lot dedicated to those out for an afternoon on the water.

Turning off and parking as close to the lapping waves as I can, I shut down the motor to sit for a moment. I listen to the gulls, and I remember my late brother, whose favorite spot this was to kayak.

Then back to the main road and on with my errand of the day.

What I've found is, here on the island no matter where you go or what you are doing, it's about connection. Living here allows you to stop the rush a little, pay attention to the side roads and attractions life offers up.

I think that you can have this living on the Mainland, but it's much harder - the temptations, the in-your-face, over-the-top distraction, the lure to do just one more thing.

As a slogan on a greeting card I saw recently proclaims, "Some of the best living, the most valuable living, is done on the side roads."

Here's to side-road living. :)

Second Bridge Diving*

Have a good one.

(This is for my friend Sue, who is, about now, really missing the Vineyard. See you soon!)

* from Life magazine

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