When the sun, the sand and the sea come together, something magical happens. It’s as though the wonderful wizard has waved his magic wand over all of the land, generously sprinkling pixie dust over all within his reach, and his reach spreads far and wide. In the hustle and bustle of the city, it is easy to forget that there is life beyond the pavement. It is hard to imagine life without high-rises, highways and the high costs that city life incurs. On the Vineyard, life is slow, breathing is slow, speech is slow, and conversations linger on and on as one by one, people join in to laugh, catch up, say hello but never goodbye; it’s always just “see ya later,” even if “later” is next year. This is the way of life on Martha’s Vineyard.
A typical day begins at the Ink Well, a beach with grainy sand between the jetties, located in Oaks Bluff Center. The Polar Bears kick it off with an early morning swim at 8 a.m., followed by watermelon salad and a discussion on their leisurely plans for the rest of the day. Next on the scene are those who want to stretch out while the early morning sun is still high in the sky and those who want to read or meditate before taking a dip themselves, as the water is delightful at that time of day. Slowly, the daytime crowd falls in. By late afternoon, the circle of friends gathers. Each day, the circle widens, as everyone is welcome. Evening plans are made, and as quiet as the island is, it rocks at night.
Plans can be made in the spur of the moment. One such day was when Vineyard girl Crystal Gaines texted a few of her nearest and dearest to meet up at Menemsha Beach, located along the north side of the island, where everyone goes to watch the sunset. This is a most unforgettable sight to behold as mere words can’t describe the beauty of the sun setting on the water as in the sky directly opposite, the moon begins to rise. It’s as though the two exchange glances just for a second to kiss, spreading the stars across the sky before moving day into night.
Vine on the Go sponsored a week of first-class entertainment at the Tabernacle, located in the middle of the campgrounds. First up was a performance by the one and only Smokey Robinson and Angie Stone. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to join those who sat outside the Tabernacle—tickets were rather expensive—as Julia was under the weather that evening. However, my brother-in-law Albert “Mic” Mitchell was there, and he reported, “Smokey was out of sight!”
Looking younger than springtime and singing equally as good as he looked, Robinson sang all the tunes we know and love, whereby the only thing left to say is “Ooh Baby Baby.” Yes, he sang that too.
By Saturday, everyone was well enough to spend the day on South Beach, where if you don’t see Wes and Renee Allen anywhere else, you will be sure to see them there. This year, we saw Gloria Page and daughter Erin, who is currently in grad school studying public health and has grown up to be a beautiful young lady.
By the evening, we took our spot at the Tabernacle, where we had the pleasure of seeing (on the big screen) and hearing none other than the incomparable Kenny Babyface Edmonds and Natalie Cole. Both artists were top-notch, first-class beyond compare. They sang and sang, and when the show was over, all you wanted was to hear them start singing all over again. In fact, I just want the whole trip to start all over again, from the moment we stepped off the ferry at Martha’s Vineyard; it’s like no other place in the world.
Until next week … kisses