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The Island

The Island

My Nantucket default routine is to wake up around 6. We’re looking at the Atlantic, so the sun rises on the other side of the house. (At dusk, people throng the beach to watch the sunset and have local Tex/Mex/Seafood at Millie’s.) Over the next 90 minutes, I clean up all email, check, post three things of value on Twitter, and write.

I may be writing some monthly columns, or parts of a book, or new offerings, or project outlines, or whatever. I have some breakfast (my wife has laid out the coffee and cereal or bagels in an idiot-proof fashion the prior night, though I still louse it up half the time), then walk down the dirt lanes to what passes for a general store, where i can get one of the few copies of the New York Times and Wall Street Journal delivered at 8.

My work for the day is done, my wife is still asleep, and I wander. It’s glorious to awake on an island, especially when you’re living almost on the beach itself. The air is full of life. There are rabbits here which obviously have no natural enemies, and are anything but timid. One, the size of Buddy Beagle, we call “the house rabbit,” since he couldn’t move very quickly even if a threat appeared. He seems to be the top hare.

The gulls land on the swimming pool cover to drink fresh water. They, too, don’t seem bothered by much and come and go as they please.

Last night, we drove home from the Club Car (one of the finest restaurants here among many fine ones) in town in a dense fog, the kind that the high beams make worse, and calling for only the third time I’ve use my car’s fog lights. We had to keep the top up or we would’ve been drenched. It was creepy and fun, but fortunate that we knew all the turns and curves by heart.

I’m typing this in the house’s study, which has a great view of the water and the adjoining acres of eel grass, scrub, and desperate evergreens holding on for dear life. No one is in sight, and there is a feeling of great freedom. It is a creative place but, ironically, one without care.

I used to watch cars crawl by my open bedroom window in the city when I was young, trying to get some air in the apartment during the heat and humidity of August, wondering what my life would be like. Now, I’m watching seals float by in calm seas and invigorating air.

I’m glad I started that way. It’s taught me to appreciate where I am.

© Alan Weiss 2013

Written by

Alan Weiss is a consultant, speaker, and author of over 60 books. His consulting firm, Summit Consulting Group, Inc., has attracted clients from over 500 leading organizations around the world.

Comments: 5

  • Curtis M. Alexander

    August 22, 2013

    Great post. Especially the last sentence.

    I know as a parent I wax and wane between indulging my kids and letting them struggle a bit so they can later appreciate what they accomplished.

  • Craig Martin

    August 23, 2013

    That was a lovely piece, Alan. Thanks.

  • Alan Weiss

    August 23, 2013

    Thanks. And here I am at 6:30 am again!

  • Praveen Puri

    September 13, 2013

    I feel relaxed just reading your post. It must be difficult when the time comes to leave the island.

  • Alan Weiss

    September 13, 2013

    You should look forward to your vacation, and look forward to going home.

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