Monday, July 25, 2011

{Preview} Timeless

Four years ago, Sarah and Erik were married on the flat, grassy lawn of her family’s cottage on Martha's Vineyard.  This summer they brought their six-month-old baby boy to Chappy for the first time to dunk in the grey waters, walk the desolate beaches, and sleep in the same beds her family has for five generations. 

The cottage is an untouched relic, sun-soaked, and worn to softness.  Mellowed wood, golden walls, and exposed beams cradle the house from above.  A long, narrow hallway in the back of cottage is lined with tiny bedrooms and vintage photos of family past.  Hand-written family history dating back to the 1800’s floats between the faces - haunting, smooth - reminders of feet padding the same hallway year after year.

I can’t help but think Sarah could be her once young grandmother in these photos.  Both classic beauties, boys on their hips.  There’s a good chance the pale light, and sunned breeze enveloped the house exactly the same way 50 years ago.  I love the way Sarah and her boy are washed with this unchanging beauty.  Timelessness veiling the walls.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Farmer John

I did it.  I bought eggs from the grocery store today.  It’s like I’ve cheated.  We always buy our eggs from a man named John who lives in the next town over on a very modest, very beautiful farm.  Every time we go, he tumbles out of the house wearing thick, black-framed glasses, bright red suspenders, and an oversized green Farm Fresh Rhode Island cap.  He gives me a kiss on the cheek, tousles the kids’ hair, and leads us over to the bunnies.   His chickens roam free in the yard, pecking bugs from the tall grass while chasing one another, and make my kids scream, part fear, part delight.

I flat-out ran out of time tonight, and stood staring at the egg cooler for at least five minutes at Shaw’s.  But I knew I couldn’t get over to John’s.  Now it’s killing me.  We haven’t eaten an egg from a chicken I didn’t know for over a year.

It’s hip to know your farmer these days, and I am glad I jumped on the bandwagon.  Forming a relationship with John has made me feel more like a Rhode Islander than most things I have done since moving to this state six years ago.  We watched his lone cow grow fat with calf all last winter and celebrated its birth this spring.  We got to peek wide-eyed at miniature bunnies just days old nestled deep in wooden boxes behind the coop.  We were there when the chicks arrived this spring, and spent a very long time gazing at them huddled in sawdust beneath an enormous, galvanized lamp.  We have met countless cats, heard hundreds of stories about tractors and raising animals, and have witnessed his beautiful pasture morph through the seasons.  We even shed tears when his wife died earlier this year. 

I like that on John’s farm, my children see first hand how animals are directly linked to the food they eat.  Perhaps more importantly, they have learned that the food they eat affects people’s lives and livelihood.

I learned my lesson tonight with that little half-dozen pack of organic eggs from Shaw’s.  Never again.  Never again.

Friday, July 15, 2011

What I would like.

I would like to turn my camera into a net for catching energy.  A little box with a mind of its own, trapping light and motion as they tumble into a story.  So that releasing the shutter spins seductive little blurs of reality, moods sewn into shape and color.  Your finger or mine, doesn't matter.  Just catch the moment before it's gone.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

I left everything on Martha's Vineyard, and my heart in NYC.

We are swooshing through summer, and burning a threadbare path to Woods Hole. Back to back to back trips.  In Rhode Island for three days, then back again to the Vineyard.  Every time we get in the car now Henry asks if we are going to the Steamship, then cries if we don’t.  I am pretty sure I have left all my favorite things tucked into the bottom of a chest of drawers on Chappy. 

We made an extra long trek last weekend from MV to NYC to MV to watch my younger brother get married.  I cannot get rid of the aching tug in my heart.  As if someone’s wrapped it round and round with a long scarlet cord, and left a streaming trail down I-95 to the ones I love.

Every July we teeter the fine line between too much travel and not enough.  Try to sort through the jumble of where and what we call our summertime home.  All I know is it feels best when we are piled in the truck, pushing into the afternoon sun, headed to wherever our family is.