15 Nov 2011

Nantucket Sconset Sunrise…

Sconset Sunrise

The clocks rolled back an hour recently and gave most of us in the country an extra hour of morning light. My internal clock didn’t adjust too easily, so I’ve found myself wide awake at 5:00 a.m. every morning since the time change. Rather than toss, turn and count 600 sheep in an attempt to grab a few more winks, I decided one day last week to jump up and embrace the early morning hour. I poured a steaming thermos of Nantucket Blend, grabbed a fleece jacket and jumped in the Jeep with Coco the white dog to head east.

Because Nantucket lies 22 miles out to sea and is one of the easternmost points in the U.S., it’s one of the first places in the country to experience daybreak. I park the car in Codfish Park, spread my blanket on the sand and wait for Mr. Sunshine to rise up and greet me. There is something very surreal and empowering about sitting ocean-side at the crack of dawn, knowing you’re one of the first people in the nation to welcome the day.

As I sip my cup of java in the wee hours while beholding the vast Atlantic Ocean before me, I consider this quaint seaside ‘Sconset Village. I think about the generations of folks who have watched with anticipation for the first break of daylight. A sea captain’s spouse or children spanning the horizon, hoping for a glimpse of their loved ones vessel returning home. Fishermen anxious to assess sea conditions as the sky illuminates the ocean. First-time Nantucket visitors greeting the new day from their bluff-top rental home. I wonder if all these ‘Sconset dwellers experienced the same awe I feel as the large orange ball slowly appears and ascends up over the sparkling Atlantic Ocean.

I love a good sunset….especially in Nantucket. From virtually any vantage point on the island you can watch the sky turn a dozen different colors as the day draws to a close. Sunsets are romantic and have the ability to enrapture onlookers, inspire a toast and in some cases command a round of applause. Watching the sunset causes us to reflect on what’s been, celebrate the day’s successes and put to rest those things we wish had been a bit different. A sunrise prompts different emotions. It generates feelings of hope, anticipation and excitement. It reminds us we get a “do-over” if we blew it the day before or an opportunity to stay the course if the previous day had us on a good path. It motivates us to look forward, not back and compels us to make the most of the hours ahead as sunset will arrive much too soon.

A Nantucket Sconset sunrise holds its own unique possibilities as a new day dawns. The island offers countless opportunities to surprise and delight its guests – a rare bird is spotted in Madaket, a whale breeches on the horizon off Tom Nevers, a small catboat glides across the water off Dionis. As I watch the sky begin to brighten, I’m filled with the anticipation of a child on Christmas morning. I ponder the magic of the island and the yet to be discovered secrets it has in store for today. Some morning soon, why don’t you make a plan to greet the new day with a Nantucket sunrise? Fill your own coffee thermos, head east to ‘Sconset and let Nantucket bid you good morning.

Rise and shine.

 Shellie Dunlap


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