TITLE: Like Watching Fireworks from Nantucket Harbor
GENRE: Contemporary Women's
When Janey Walker arrives on Nantucket for her brother's wedding, she expects the usual inquiries about her (less than glamorous) job and her (nonexistent) love life. But, she is unprepared for the flood of memories that comes rushing forth the moment she steps ashore, memories that draw to her to the past and a long-ago summer spent on the island.
When we were kids, my brother Ben and I loved to keep watch for the first glimpse of island peeking above the horizon. Whatever the weather – rain, shine, heavy winds – we would be out there on that ferryboat deck, straining to see who could spot the stretch of pork-chop-shaped land first. Ben was older, but more easily distracted, and I almost always won. I collected these victories, these small tokens of a younger sister’s triumph, and cherished them with almost the same reverence I reserved for our destination itself. For even as a child I sensed the island was unique and very early in life it became synonymous with the sweetest summer things; lazy days of sun and sand, longstanding traditions, and a freedom from responsibility we would never fully appreciate until it was much, much too late.
It was a foggy morning in August, the day I finally went back to the island and very little was visible through the mist. It had been seven years – almost to the day – but sitting there on the ferryboat deck, amidst the translucent mid-morning haze, everything, those long pushed-aside memories, everything felt uncomfortably fresh… and as close as the air.
I couldn’t – I wouldn’t blame Ben for dragging me back here like this. He could hold his wedding wherever he so chose – on the moon even – and I would be there, of course. And I was happy for him, for them.