04 Sep 2018

Nantucket’s Simple Pleasures

There are some cult favorite movie classics that bring a smile to your face when you simply recall the hero or heroine. Forrest Gump, Annie, Mary Poppins…and Ferris Bueller. In the 1986 wildly popular flick that’s a hilarious accounting of what happens when a precocious teenager takes a “day off” from school, Matthew Broderick playing Ferris gives us permission to take a pause from our busy lives and enjoy the journey. “Life,” he says looking straight into the camera with that mischievous grin, “moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile you could miss it.
I was taking Bueller’s advice to heart as I snaked my way down Dover Street recently, trying to avoid the traffic gridlock at Five Corner’s and over on Union Street. I was following the multitude of other vehicles who apparently had the same idea. It was August and we all had important places to be and a timeline to keep. The weather was unseasonably drizzly and the temperature was unseasonably hot, which only served to enhance the traffic frustration and minimize basic human patience.
In the midst of the busyness of the day (and the season in general), I found myself trapped in a traffic grind I was seeking to avoid and yet magically positioned directly in front of this charming whale scene in the photo. I’ve driven down this little road a bazillion times this summer and noted the intricate and thoughtfully sculpted whale privet before. On this day, it affected me differently. So much so that I got out of my car to snap this photo (which did not sit well with the fellow “commuters” lined up behind me). Their frustration had been mine just moments before I realized Ferris Bueller is right…if we don’t stop to look around and embrace the charming (dare I say sacred?) beauty all around us, we could miss it.
On Nantucket, there are so many hidden gems and treasures to brighten the day it’s virtually impossible to define or describe them all. Most of them never hit the Visitors Center Guide or the social media calendars of what’s hot and happening each week. They’re hiding in plain sight and necessitate no reservation or admission fee. The requirement to discover and enjoy them is as simple as Bueller’s directive – stop and look around.
As you continue to savor what’s left of this Nantucket summer, don’t miss the simple pleasures. Cut down the narrow side streets in town and peer in the back gardens or over the picket fences. Wander along the sand roads in Cisco or Miacomet and ponder the rolling grass covered dunes. Bike to Madaket in the evening and watch the sun dip into the ocean before enjoying one last fish taco at Millie’s. These moments and breathtaking scenes are available to us every single day. Slow down, exhale, enjoy.
Look around.
Shellie Dunlap
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