10 Jan 2017

Two Roads On Nantucket

In one of his many works of poetic genius, Robert Frost concluded his epic piece “The Road Not Taken” this way: “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,,,I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” Frost, when met with one of those life changing moments where life presents us options and we’re forced to choose, took an inventory of his humanness and expressed regret that he was but one traveler and could not therefore walk two paths at once. He then determined to elect the road less traveled and concluded it had made all the difference.
This past weekend as winter storm Helena blew in for a visit (literally!), I sat by a crackling fire and spent a good long time looking out my snow splattered front window while mulling over Frost’s sentiments. There’s not a day…not one single day…that I don’t get to the “diverged road” in my neighborhood (pictured in the photo) that I don’t pause as I turn to enter my little cul-de-sac and give thanks that almost 2 decades ago my husband and I were fortunate enough to choose the road less traveled.
After all, what mid-westerner in their right minds invites a few long-time friends to Nantucket for the holidays and buys a house before they leave? We tell clients, friends and family all the time it was the dumbest – and the BEST – decision we’ve ever made. This home…and this island…have provided our family blessings and opportunities that we couldn’t possibly have anticipated or experienced elsewhere. A respite when life throws the mean left hook. The crackling fire in the hearth, friends gathered around the dining table, morning walks through the neighborhood and down to the beaches…and suddenly the tough days aren’t just bearable, they’re bright and hope filled. Nantucket salves the wounds and calms the worry with her gentle breezes and fresh salt air.
If she’s uplifting during the tough days, the Grey Lady is a proverbial Rock Star on the good days. Nantucket has allowed us to meet some of the best friend’s life has to offer, to work with first class colleagues and to experience the beauty of a community that quietly goes about the business of ensuring their friends and neighbors are cared for. Our children have all enjoyed the diversity and benefits of island life and now our granddaughters have the opportunity to spend their summers learning to sail, swim and run barefoot on the beaches. This fall our daughter will be married on our back lawn, surrounded by many of the friends met on the island and build a future with Nantucket at the center of it. None of this would be possible if we’d turned the car around all those years ago and chosen a “more sensible” road.
2017 is upon us now and we’ll all likely be faced with multiple opportunities to make choices this year. There will be occasions I’m sure when, like Frost, we’ll wish we could take two paths at once. As we weigh options, consider what’s at stake and, perhaps most importantly, look outside ourselves at the bigger picture, we’ll likely discover that there are many others who stand to benefit if we choose the road less traveled. And it will make…
All the difference.


Shellie Dunlap
Related Posts
  • 12 Mar 2013 Missing Nantucket Off Island After a busy hustle bustle tourist season on Nantucket and a winter wrought with one storm after the next many of the local residents – particularly those in service related industries – look forward to a few coveted days of rest and relaxation. I had the opportunity to “get away from it all” for a... Continue Reading
  • 28 Jun 2016 Nantucket Kid’s Club Winnie the Pooh and his wide circle of diverse friends spent their days reminding us of the importance of living life to the fullest and not sweating the small stuff. They managed to make beautiful memories and embrace life’s simple pleasures by focusing on what matters…being fully present staying optimistic sticking together and always being... Continue Reading