Next morning, I heard the other guests having coffee in the breakfast room. Looking at the time, I was happy to discover I had actually slept in - a rare treat for a mother of two. After a nice breakfast, I got ready for my day and made Dionis Beach my destination for the morning. It would be about 3 miles and very hilly. I wanted to get this in first before rains were due to come. Cloudy and cool, the day greeted me as I set out. This time I resolved to leave my art supplies in the room just in case of rain and put my iPhone in a Ziploc bag. (So glad I did!)
The air was very moist and the sky grew increasingly darker as I biked the path. I confess I thought about turning back (I had no rain gear), but decided to press on “like an adventurer.” I knew my family would be proud of me! As I turned down the beach road after about one hour of pedaling up and down several hills, I was greeted by the most gorgeous dunes I had seen yet! These 'mountains' rose and fell so high and low, I whispered a praise as I stood before them. The colors of the grasses were also very rewarding; lights and darks, greens, browns, and even wine-reds and purples of beach heather. If this was the unlikely palette of spring, I would love to see autumn. This was my reward for pressing on despite the threatening skies!
I was the only person there. I felt very small and very grateful. After a photo-taking frenzy, I sat quietly and listened to the water very gently ebbing and flowing along the long shoreline. The skies were still dark, but I wanted to savor the moment. It was so peaceful.
This would later become a dramatic piece, Dionis Beach Dunes, Nantucket, shown below, based on the experience of the magnitude of the dunes, their colors, shapes, movement, and steep cliff fall into the calm ocean. The skies belied the serene stillness of the water; I understand now firsthand how quickly the skies can change on Nantucket. You almost don't know if it is night or day, where the light is coming from, or how the earth's colors can glow under such a dark sky.
I thought about the contrast between the south side, Surfside Beach, and the north side of the island, Dionis Beach. What a difference in the topography. The north side was much more rolling and hilly while the south side was flatter and more desolate. So interesting, and only a few miles apart.
Getting up to leave, I felt some large rain drops, but thankfully, they didn’t last. I pedaled back to town which was easier than the trip there. I just really enjoyed biking along the roads of Nantucket, with all the homes neatly painted and lots of flowers newly planted, clearly getting dolled up for the summer season. It is so special and picturesque and you kind of feel the pride that residents take in their homes as you pass by.
Once I arrived in town, I locked up my bike and headed into some galleries. Then the downpour came! Whoa! The few people on the street were darting into buildings to avoid getting too soaked. I had left Dionis Beach just in time!
I enjoyed some great coffee and a sandwich at Petticoat Row Bakery. I learned that Petticoat Row is the nickname of Centre Street where many galleries and shops now sit. It is called by this nickname because this is where seafaring men’s wives set up shop and made their livelihoods. The bakery had a wall of antique photos from the 1800’s showing these women in front of their shops. Great bakery, and great coffee. I highly recommend stopping in if you are there!
It was good to check out the galleries that were open and see what artists are up to on Nantucket. There was a variety of art ranging from contemporary to traditional and representational. I felt refreshed and encouraged by seeing others’ works.
Finally it was time to check out of my B&B and pick up my belongings, return my bike, and buy my ferry ticket back. The rain had subsided enough that I could do this without getting drenched. It was time for the journey home. On the ferry ride, I looked at my iPhone and realized I had taken over 200 pictures. I would have to pore over these images to select a the best ones that I would translate onto canvas.
Check back for Part 4: This Saturday's event! See you soon! - Deidre
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