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Sunset – Vacation Part 2

July 14, 2012

The sunrise is Gods greeting – the sunset, his signature.

   ~Author Unknown

I started to tell you a little about our vacation here and here.  After we left Nantucket, we spent the night at my parents house on the mainland, and then drove out to Woods Hole in Cape Cod to take another ferry boat to another island, Martha’s Vineyard, where we spent about a week and a half.

We go to the Vineyard a couple times each year, as my parents have a home there as well.   So our second island in two days.  I like taking the children here because it is familiar to them, so it is relatively easy. It is Gramma’s house, so they get spoiled, they get to go to the beach, and we don’t have to have every meal out at restaurant the way we might if we stayed in a hotel.  It works for us, although that much family crammed into one house can get a little overwhelming at times.

Every year, I try to take the kids out to Menemsha Beach to watch the sun set over the ocean (a thrill for anyone from the East Coast of the US, even more so for someone, like myself, who is landlocked much of the year.)  It is comical and beautiful how popular this is. We usually have a good deal of trouble finding a parking spot.  It would seem that everyone on the island brings their picnic dinner to this beach to watch this sunset. And when it happens, they burst into applause. Yes, applause for the sunset! “Good job God,” my kids always cheer.  The catch is, we try this every time we are on the Vineyard. I watch the weather carefully, praying the clouds will get out of the way, or stay out of the way.  I have terrible luck.  It’s an island in Massachusetts, after all. The weather can be rather unpredictable.

So this year, we got there a little early, picnic dinner and sweatshirts ready. We got a great parking spot by the harbor. The sky was clear. I was pretty excited.

Troy and Joyce enjoying the water

 Troy and Joyce enjoying the water

This is about where the sun should set

We set up camp. More folks started to trickle in. Some had little grills, others had simple picnics. Some brought their own beach coffee tables, and boiled lobster and shelfish dinner from the local fish market. Many had bottles of white wine. Everyone set up. Families gathered, friends talked, children played.

Folks gathering on Menemsha beach for the sunset

Now, if you’re paying attention, you might have noticed those gray things floating in the sky. Yes, those are clouds, and yes, they are moving towards my sunset spot! I told myself it wouldn’t matter. After all, just the fact that all these folks were here just to watch something that happens every day, and to take notice of it in a collective and appreciative way was something great for my children to be a part of, right? Well, I still wanted my sunset. I kept checking that spot on the horizon:

Still clear….

Ok, some clouds….

Oh, Come On! Clouds moving in…

Alright, so there were some clouds coming. I wasn’t going to let it ruin our day. There were still a few small spaces where some light could peak through. The kids continued to play, as my mother started to pile on layers to protect against the cool ocean breeze. Mary did her amazingly happy stimmy dance, that I mentioned earlier. Here, I have pictures of that:

She loves the motion of the wind, and even opens her mouth to taste the breeze. It may look silly in pictures, but it’s an unabashed expression of  joy that I just love to watch.

I told myself it didn’t matter that the clouds would cover up yet another sunset. We were all having a great time. So I just kicked back and watched my babies have their fun, with no regard to any kind of social decorum.

They ran, they screamed, they jumped. It is the beautiful thing about autism – it would seem so often that they are so much more free than we are to just have fun, with no worries about how silly they might look. Just. Pure. Joy.

They watched the ocean with an intensity that startled me.

My kids with my mom

I took lots of pictures. Even with the clouds moving in, the light and the space with my children was perfect.

People were at this point packing up, giving up on the sunset. The clouds had moved in. I had the kids at the car, when I suddenly heard a commotion at the water. I turned and looked. This is what I saw:

(That’s Troy in the center- mesmerized)

I thought the clouds had ruined our sunset. I was wrong. Like so many little bumps on our journey, the clouds only served to make the sunset even more beautiful and unexpected.

Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky

~Rabindranath Tagore

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. July 14, 2012 1:52 am

    Wow! Those last photos were awesome! No wonder there is applause. I love that the kids seemed freer. I’m hearing that a lot with parents who have taken their ASD kids on vacation this year. And I loved her little dance too.

    • July 14, 2012 12:16 pm

      It was absolutely beautiful. It really caught me (and everyone else it seemed) off guard. I’m really glad the kids got to appreciate it. 🙂

  2. Life and Ink permalink
    July 14, 2012 11:32 am

    Your post brought a smile to my face. Mary dancing, the kids happy, the glorious sunset and for you, a memory that will last a lifetime! How absolutely wonderful!!!

    • July 14, 2012 12:17 pm

      I’m so happy to have made you smile. Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

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