13 Jan 2015

Frozen On Nantucket

In a memorable scene from the Academy Award winning blockbuster, Frozen, Hans the Prince implores Elsa the Snow Queen to “Stop the winter please and bring back summer.” To which Elsa responds, “Don’t you see…I can’t!” Tens of thousands nationwide were wishing they could “bring back summer” these past couple of weeks as a record-breaking cold front made its way across the country. Even on Nantucket, where we’re rarely surprised by what Mother Nature serves up, we found ourselves a bit shell-shocked by the arctic blast that brought several days of wind chills in the single digits and left an icy coating on the harbor.

Just like the scene in the movie, our pleas to “bring back summer” are met with a firm “I can’t.” Intuitively we know it’s a silly wish anyway. For those of us who choose to live anywhere but the southern and western states, we understand that winter is…well, winter. It can be cold and bleak…and long. But somehow, in the same way that summer on Nantucket is like none anywhere else in the world, winter on Nantucket has its own unique flavor that makes it not only tolerable, but dare I say enjoyable.

The winter skies on Nantucket are an extraordinary tapestry of colors and designs. At any point in the day, from the bright pastel sunrise, to the bold color splashed high noon, to the warm late day sunset, the skies over Nantucket perform like an artists brush in ever changing motion across a canvas. With the foliage gone, the island is stripped down to her raw beauty. Whether you’re on a long walk in the moors or sitting ocean-side on a dune, the soul of the island…that magic Nantucket “it factor” that none of us can describe or define…is front and center. Even while the temperatures remain bitter cold, the island in winter affords us a sanctuary where we can recognize and celebrate the people, circumstances and surroundings that we’re grateful for and face the challenges and struggles that life throws our way with a renewed confidence that somehow it will all be ok.

As a New Year gets underway and the news channels are broadcasting grim tales of the realities of 2015, from plane crashes to new terrorist attacks, flu epidemics to corporate scandals …’s tempting to allow the news, as well as the bitter temperatures, to paralyze us. It’s also an opportunity to hold tight to the things that matter and are often taken for granted… friends, family, a roof overhead, good health…and refuse to allow our struggles, challenges and obstacles (no matter how great) to get the best of us. In the memorable words of Elsa the Snow Queen in Frozen, Nantucket invites us to “Let it Go.”

Even as you plan your sun-splashed winter getaway to escape the arctic blast, be sure to make some days on Nantucket part of your winter plans. If you’re lucky enough to call Nantucket home, take advantage of the opportunity to bundle up and head to one of the many remote areas of the island where the fresh crisp air and the stunning landscape will invigorate you or head to one of the beautiful beaches where you’re likely to have the entire stretch of sand all to yourself. Let the island affirm all that’s positive and good and provide the comfort and peace needed to face the difficulties.

 Let It Go!

 Shellie Dunlap

Shellie Dunlap, Real Estate Broker and Author of "A Nantucket Experience"

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