there was an old man named wilbur sitting at the bus station. with a cane in one hand and the other inside his down jacket. we sat beside him in the early hours of dawn, the sun still struggling, reaching to rise. in the cold that only that hour can bring.
he was just one of the people we would meet that day, on our journey to, around, and back from martha's vineyard. wilbur was traveling to see his brother, who lived alone on the vast island. the one he hadn't visited in years. then there was the woman aboard the ferry took her labradoodles across the water weekly. for sunshine on a new coast. the one who knew places to rent bikes, eat lunch, and avoid. the two friends also on a road trip, heading to the vineyard with no plans but to explore. to run and taste and smell and hopefully find an inn available.
and besides a lunch that cost more than i usually spend for a week's worth of meals, the vineyard did not disappoint. it was calm. above all, above everything else, the greenery, the gingerbread houses, and even the water, it was the sense of calm that swept about me, nipping at my toes as we rode in the dusk. when evening falls on shops at closing time, on an island past its vacation season, something magical is in the air, something only locals are privy to and we felt like giddy outsiders.
we drove overnight to boston, arriving an hour before midnight. we walked beneath lights unfamiliar and held hands as rain started down. our room was tiny, but the ceilings were tall. and we slept another night in a strange, dark room, squeezing together in a double bed. miles to go, but many more beneath our soles.