At last it is June and on the twenty first summer will be with us. Islanders are readying cottages and camps for rental. Visitors are packing up cars with bicycles and kayaks and tennis rackets and setting off for Woods Hole. They find it unsettling that they are paying much more this season than last for the gas that will bring them here. But the Vineyard is worth the cost, for they are leaving behind steamy New York and Boston and Washington, D.C., as well as points considerably farther away. If they are young, they are looking forward to that first bone-chilling plunge into the waters of Nantucket and Vineyard Sounds or diving into South Shore surf.
Some come to watch the sun rise or set over Oak Bluffs and Vineyard Haven harbors, or Menemsha’s beach or the Gay Head Cliffs at Aquinnah. If they are boat owners, they are looking forward to watching sails fill on their small craft. If they are fishermen, their mouths are watering at the prospect of catching that first fish of the season off Wasque or in the Middle Ground. Tennis players have their ears tuned for the sock of the tennis ball; golfers are arranging tee times with old friends they have not seen for a year.
The beach roses are suddenly pink on the sand dunes. There are huckleberry bells in the woods presaging a good crop for this year’s pies. Daisies are starting to open — white and gold in up-Island fields. It will not be long before rambler roses are tumbling over Edgartown’s white picket fences.
There will be much talk about the year just past. There is always personal catching up to do after a winter away from the Vineyard. And there is catching up on what has happened on the Island itself since last summer. What new mega-mansions sprawl atop Island hills? What old Edgartown houses have been replaced by reproductions? More positively, what Vineyard Playhouse productions are in prospect this season? What dance recitals have been scheduled at The Yard in Chilmark? Who is offering relaxing yoga classes?
There is no end to the activities June brings to the Vineyard — concerts and foot races and gallery openings, antique shows and farmers’ markets in West Tisbury.