Thursday, July 20, 2006



I'm waiting for a storm. To be precise, I'm waiting for Tropical Storm Beryl.

I've done this before. Six years ago, I waited for a would-be hurricane. It was a difficult time. I had come to a little cottage on the far western side of Nantucket to mourn my mother who I had just buried. Madaket, the old fishing village that I call(ed ) home is simple. There aren't big trophy houses. In fact, there is a restriction on any building that would alter the look of the 100+ year old fishing houses--many one or two room structures.

I've been coming here since 1990, introduced to the island at the invitation of an old friend who invited me to spend a couple of days with her family. Every year since, I've come back to this island and rented a beach house as close to the sea as I can get. Well, Madaket is as close as you can get and as far from the madding crowds as well.

The cottage I rent is 100 years old and next to Fred Rogers' "Crooked House". It's perched on a spot that has views of Madaket Bay on one side and the Atlantic on the other.

Six years ago, when the hurricane was threatening, I wanted to stay out here where the island narrows to a spit of land before it becomes ocean. But I did have reservations particularly when the maintenance men came to board up my picture window overlooking the Bay. About 9 pm, the winds began picking up. I walked out onto the porch to see what was coming. Across the street, I saw Fred outside, too. He was securing the shutters of his house. And, like me, he was looking over the Bay to see what was coming. I waved and he waved back. Then I watched as he went inside. A light went on in his garage office, and I guessed that he wasn't going anywhere that night. I figured if Fred Rogers was across the street, I'd be fine. And I was.

So, tonight I'm watching the ocean from the view you see above. And wondering what Beryl has to offer. My friends invited me to join them closer to town. But, even though Fred isn't here to wave, I'm pretty sure I'm fine.

Anyway, this has been a month of messages and metaphors. I'm guessing this might be one too.

I'll wait.


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