17 May 2011

Tour Nantucket

Just Bluffin

If you’ve never been to Nantucket, you might find it hard to imagine the wide variety of elevations and topography that exist on a little body of sand.  From rocky jetties, to a pebble covered shoreline on some parts of the island, to endless stretches of silky sand and rolling dunes on another.  No matter where your bare feet land on the island, you are guaranteed to find yourself exposed to sheer beauty.  Each area of Nantucket is unique and dramatic in its own right.

Depending on the day, one of my favorite things to do is choose a part of the island known for its high bluffs and tour Nantucket.  There is something quite daring about walking right along the edge of the place where you live. The vantage point from high places on the island is breathtaking.  Expansive views of the Atlantic Ocean as far as the eye can see from some bluffs.  From others, harbor and sound scenes are on display.

One of my favorite bluff walks is the one in Sconset, where you wind along a little secret path that cuts directly in front of some of the extraordinary Baxter Road homes. In the late spring and summer the bluffs face is a stunning display of aromatic splendor as the rosa rugosa and dune grass adorn the rugged surface. On a clear day, you can watch the rip current “perform” on the horizon as it sprays huge bursts of water dozens of feet into the air.  If you’re really lucky you might see some seal heads bobbing on the water’s surface or a whale spouting in the distance.

These walks and the vantage point they provide always remind me that life is all about perspective.  For fun, I sometimes walk down one of the steep sets of beach stairs to the sand.  I walk along the shore and look up at the underside of the bluff.  From below, it looks rugged and harsh, impossible to climb – overwhelming even.  But once I’m back up those steps, feet firmly planted on the high bluff looking out at the horizon, gazing at the magical Nantucket scenery…the world looks brighter.

Sometimes all you have to do is get to “higher ground” for your outlook to change.  There are dozens of quotes that embody this concept:  “Soar to new heights,” “Rise above it,” “Stay on top of it.” I’m sure you know many more.   I might be biased, but I believe Nantucket is one of the best places in the world to gain a fresh perspective.  Walking along one of the many island bluffs, gazing out at the Atlantic Ocean while inhaling the fresh air, the universe seems to whisper, “All is right with the world.”

The next time you’re on the island, be sure to make your way to one of the bluffs.  Spend some time strolling along the edge or just gazing out at the vista.  Embrace the beauty, marvel at the expansiveness and reflect on how good life looks from higher ground.

It’s all about perspective.

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