16 Jun 2015

Attached To Nantucket

Merriam-Webster defines attached as “being full of affection or fondness for someone or something or being emotionally connected or joined to something.” It’s that sense of loyalty and connection that happens when you meet someone you immediately click with, have an item in your home that holds incredible sentimental value or you visit a place where you instantly feel at home and can’t wait to return. It’s the word many (including me!) use to describe their feelings about Nantucket. We round the corner at Brant Point for the very first time and that’s it – the grey lady has us at hello.

Within the framework of our personal attachment to the island, other bonds form – the human kind – that allow lifelong relationships to develop. A year ago a tenant of mine sent a frantic email, just after the boat left the harbor on the day of their departure, to tell me her family had just discovered they were missing her little girl Bridget’s favorite stuffed bunny Baboo. This wasn’t just any bunny – it was the one Bridget had loved and been attached to her entire life. The search party ensued as we enlisted the help of the cleaners, the caretaker and the homeowners in an effort to find the beloved bunny. No luck.

No one was more heartsick than the homeowner who has her own little girl – she got it. Her “attachment” to these tenants was instantaneous and she wanted nothing more than to help find the bunny. It took almost a year, but last week while opening their home for the season, the owners little girl was digging in the back of her closet and there hiding in a corner was the bunny. It gave the owner great pleasure to send Baboo home to Bridget with a personal note of celebration. No need to describe Bridget’s reaction to Baboo’s homecoming – the photo says it all.

These personal bonds and attachments that develop on Nantucket happen all the time. I hear dozens of stories of people who worked here as teens who adore the employers who gave them their start. In some cases these employers helped get those summer kids into college or were instrumental in getting them their first “real” job in a high end company. Neighbors form friendships that span generations as we help raise each other’s kids, celebrate milestone anniversaries, bring soup when one of us is under the weather or simply sip lemonade on the back porch as we quietly enjoy the sunset.

It’s been said that “true bonding is not measured by time spent together or the favors done for each other, but by the comfort you find when you realize you have each other.” This summer as you bond with the island, be sure to also spend some time bonding with the people you encounter here. Host a neighborhood bbq, invite nearby beach goers to share your picnic or simply extend a helping hand to someone in need. Who knows – you may need someone to return your favorite stuffed bunny someday!

Stay connected.

Shellie Dunlap  

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