Today we leave the Chilmark store and continue up island…past the long lines of devoted fans waiting in line at Chilmark Chocolates, down the hill and over the little bridge that was washed away by Great Hurricane of 1938, slow down when you reach the Quitsa Pound, and just after the dog leg you hang a left onto Greenhouse Lane.
Now this is not a public road, just a sandy old chisled up vineyard kind of a lane that has been used gently for centuries. For the last three decades it has led me to the closest thing I have ever known to home. Camp Sunrise, in all it’s humble glory, sits on the edge of the bluff overlooking the dramatic vista of the Atlantic Ocean. And sadly, that sentence is soon to become past tense.
Much of the island’s south shore has been devoured by the recent series of intense storms leaving unprecedented erosion. A handful of vintage buildings which, for the last few years now, have been tenuously clinging to the craggy edge of the planet…are losing their grip.
So the beloved old chicken coop of a cottage must be torn down. I can hardly bear to write that sentence. So many years of magnificent memories there. A new house has been designed for the meadow behind the marsh and it promises to retain the “character” of the old place. I will get over myself and summon up excitement to see it.
And I have a few more compositions from the old place which I haven’t yet painted, and which need to be painted to tell its story. And now, there will be new chapters as well as new vistas…
It seems fitting then, that this painting got finished this year…
The Caretaker – 18″ x 24″
It has come to pass.
For the second time in my lifetime,
the bluff on which this tiny house sits
has been carved away by the elements.
The spirits have reclaimed the sands
and stopped just short of its fragile wooden front porch.
It was easier to take the first time.
We were younger
and there were more of us
to remember how the pieces fit back together.
Now its time for the next generation to take care.
We older ones
the veterans of the storms
we’ll tend to the ashes
and kindle our memories
And lean gracefully into the wind.