13 Dec 2016

Peace on Nantucket

In his 1969 hit single, “Give Peace a Chance,” John Lennon feels so strongly about the title that he and Yoko repeat it over 20 times throughout the song. This was during a day and time when it was hard to imagine how or where to find peace. War was raging in Vietnam, protests were erupting all over the United States and our servicemen were dying by the thousands. Everybody, Lennon crooned, was talking about “revolution and regulation, United Nations and congratulations.” It seems eerily familiar to our current “state of the nation” and yet Lennon believed we should all consider giving peace a chance.
As 2016 draws to a close and we all busy ourselves with holiday preparations, it’s the best time of year to take John Lennon’s advice. To put aside any differences, anything that threatens to divide us, causes anxiety, anger or fear…and give peace a chance. This is no easy feat to be sure and these are not easy times. Within my own immediate family and inner circle of friends, people I love are battling chronic pain, serious health conditions, economic struggles, grief, addiction, depression, family division and more. Peace in itself cannot remedy any of those things. Peace gives us the ability to endure these things…and the strength to encourage those we love who are facing the difficulties.
The scene in the photo greeted my husband and I as we departed the island a few weeks ago to head to “America” to spend time with family and friends. We were on the beautiful new Hy-Line fast boat – the Grey Lady IV – and boy is she spectacular. As we pulled away from the dock, the Steamship Car Ferry was just rounding Brant Point. The harbor was glass calm and the little beacon on top of the Brant Point lighthouse was illuminated on cue as if to say “safe passage as you leave” and “welcome home” as you arrive.
As we joined a few dozen passengers on the deck to toss our two pennies overboard, we waved to our fellow sojourners on the competing ferry line. There was a keen awareness that regardless of the choice (or necessity) of the vessel we choose to deliver us, we share a common bond – a tiny body of sand 30 miles out to sea. We all whispered in reverence to the singular moment we found ourselves in and to the island that gifts us these opportunities to experience beauty, calm and peace.
I am biased, but I can think of no better place in the world to find and extend peace than on Nantucket Island. This little “far away island” reminds us on a daily basis that the storms may come and go (literally!) but eventually the seas calm and the sun shines bright. Plan to spend some time here over the holidays or in the New Year and let the Grey Lady assure you that peace is possible. If you’re lucky enough to call Nantucket home – step outside, inhale giant gulps of the fresh sea air, take a long walk through the moors (like I did this morning!), grab a warm jacket and a good friend or loved one on the beach at sunset and raise your glass to peace on earth and peace on Nantucket.
Give it a chance.
Shellie Dunlap  
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