Home Away from Home

A few weeks ago, my partner and I arrived close to sunset on the island of Vieques, off the island of Puerto Rico. After dropping our bags at our home-away-from-home, we walked briskly back into town to take in the majesty of this breathtaking setting. We stood on the boardwalk, called the Malecón, in the town of Esperanza, and took in the scene in front of us— a gathering of gazers, some on beach chairs, others on their feet, and still others sitting on the edge of this well-worn dock.

As new and exotic as this majestic scene seemed at first sight, I was struck by its similarity to sunset rituals back home, specifically in Hull, MA, where I’ve spent summers all my life. Hull, a small peninsula located off Boston’s south shore, has a spot at its tip called the “gut”, where ocean and bay meet in a swirling current. For as long as I can remember, and well before my birth, residents and visitors alike have gathered there at sunset—when the sun sinks behind Boston’s skyline across the waters of Boston Harbor. The rocky beach at The Gut, with a stony stretch between it and the paved street, provides a perfect vantage point for sunset viewers on foot, motorcycles, and cars (vintage as well as contemporary) with the same goal in mind.

No matter how far we stray from home, the same sun rises and sets predictably as the earth we share rotates on its axis—not just occasionally, but day after day, year after year. 

What else in life, yours or mine, is as predictable and as essential to us, as this star we call the sun.

2 thoughts on “Home Away from Home

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