20 Mar 2018

Nantucket Gathering

In his 1958 novel, “Things Fall Apart,” author Chinua Achebe reasons that “when we gather together in the moonlit village it is not because of the moon. Every man can see it in his own compound. We come together because it is good for kinsmen to do so.” It’s a beautiful sentiment and one the people of Nantucket (and apparently the geese too!) enthusiastically embrace.
The gaggle of geese in the photo have been gathering for a breakfast meeting in the field off Hummock Pond Road all winter. It’s been fascinating to witness their consistency and enthusiasm as they spend a couple hours each day scouring the field for the “daily special,” but more importantly just the simple act of coming together. In a few weeks, as the crowds swell and island activity picks up, the geese will relocate their gathering spot or disband altogether. But for now, during these remaining quiet weeks of winter and early spring, they are a great reminder how important it is to spend time with those in our midst.
This past weekend we gathered our family in Arizona; a central location for the majority. We piled together in a rented house and the bantering began. There was the predictable sibling needling, posturing and reminiscing. The grandkids, always the adorable stars of any get together, took center stage. But at the end of the weekend, it was their parents who continued to amaze us. Just witnessing each of them parent the next generation with their own styles and ideals, with a smattering of influence from dear old mom and pop, was a gift. We realized it doesn’t really matter where we gather these people we love, just that we do it – and often.
Nantucket has no shortage of ways and places to gather people together. The Nantucket Cycling Studio attracts people every day who are interested in health and wellness (and sometimes sweating through 3 layers of clothes!) Sanford Farm, Tupancy Links and Norwood Farm entices dog owners to meet where both pups and their humans enjoy a robust journey through some of the islands most breathtaking landscape. Petticoat Row offers professional women an opportunity to meet together on a regular basis to be inspired and encouraged in their professions, homes, relationships and life.
If you’re new to Nantucket and looking to connect with others who love the island, join the 48,000+ followers on Instagram who count on my friend Holly at Nantucket Blackbook to keep us current with the latest happenings. If you prefer to initiate a conversation in person, slide onto a stool at The Soda Fountain in the Nantucket Pharmacy. Order a tuna melt and chocolate frappe and make a dozen fast friends. If you’ve been on the island awhile (or a lifetime!) you know connecting with friends old and new is as simple as extending an invitation to gather around your own dining table where the beauty of just being together is what counts.
Birds of a feather.
Shellie Dunlap
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