09 Sep 2014

Time Goes By – Even On Nantucket

Remember the scene from the 1943 Oscar winning classic Casablanca where Ingrid Bergman, as the captivating Isla, implores the pianist Sam to play her favorite song, As Time Goes By “for old times sake?” As tears well up in her eyes, she’s transported down memory lane. That song was one of many that serenaded members and their guests last Monday, on closing day at the Sankaty Head Beach Club. My husband and I were honored to be guests at our friends table as they, along with their friends, neighbors and fellow members celebrated the closing with the annual tradition of lowering the flags and firing the cannon for the last time this season.

The setting for one of the nation’s most historic beach clubs is divine…perched on a bluff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The facilities are modest, but elegant and I was most intrigued by the private beach cabanas…many of which have been in the same family for generations. Like many clubs and organizations on Nantucket, the Sankaty Beach Club (now part of the Sankaty Head Golf Club) is rich with history. Our host, a multi-generational Nantucketer, reminisced about playing on the lawn of the club as a 12 year old boy while his parents dined. His stories had us reflecting on simpler days when all of us weren’t attached to our electronic devises and in a mad rush to hurry from here to there. Time really does go by, but it’s our choice what we do with it.

With another incredibly busy Nantucket summer now in the rear view mirror, it’s a great time to reflect on how we spent our time. For many of the summer residents and visitors, these past few months likely afforded ample time for leisure and refreshment. For others, who live and work on Nantucket, the opportunity to exhale is still a few weeks away. But for all of us, the reminder to live in the moment…to maximize the time we have…is a good one. As Dooley Wilson (aka Sam) reminds us in that memorable Casablanca scene, “This day and age we’re living in gives cause for apprehension with speed and new invention.” He goes on to sing, “You must remember this, a kiss is just a kiss, a sigh is just a sigh, the fundamental things apply as time goes by.”

The fall season is a fabulous time to enjoy a slower more relaxed pace on Nantucket and consider those “fundamental things” we might have put on the back burner this summer. It’s a great time to gather your children or a group of friends or colleagues and enjoy a two or three hour “device free” lunch. (Imagine!) Perhaps a blanket on the sand with a loved one in Madaket, for the sole purpose of waiting for the sun to dip into the ocean is in order. Maybe it’s as simple as an afternoon with a good book or a long nap in the hammock on your lawn. It’s the ideal opportunity to pause, reflect and maximize the moments.

Take time.

Shellie Dunlap


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