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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The top deck is mine!

It was. Nobody else was on the boat.

A family of German tourists who were cold and stayed inside. A honeymooning couple who had the First Class lounge all to themselves. And me. Out on the top deck.

All the way to Nantucket.

And now that I'm here you will have to pry me off the island with a crowbar.

This is the Nantucket I had always hoped for. Rainy day, hydrangeas struggling to stay in bloom, a room of white, all white. And shingles as far as the eye can see. This is the little village of Nantucket. The nature beyond is beyond believing.

Nantucket. One of those places that has been alive in my imagination since childhood. Along with Nova Scotia and Siberia (go figure), this place has had an almost mystical allure. It's not the celebrity or elite qualities but the beauty and the fierce wildness, its collision with the storms of the sea and survival.

A guest at this bed and breakfast called last week to ask, given the hurricane, will the house will be standing? Will it still be all right to come? Jen, the manager, assured him that this house would be here. "It was built in 1725. It has seen a few storms. I think you don't need to worry."

This goofy computer has not been quite as reliable. It seems unkind to dump two weeks of blogs on you all at once so I'll try to find a way to integrate the catching up with the new news. There has been an awful lot of graciousness along this journey. Extravagant hospitality at almost every turn. And it becomes contagious. Even changing me.

Yesterday. Yesterday morning. Not a good time. A selfish, intransigent, unbending, rigid, mean, Cape Cod hotel owner refused to budge on a very reasonable and, to me, expensive, point of contention. He even acknowledged I was right but said it was "against his policy" to compromise. It was one of those moments, "cursing the quest, courting disaster, measureless [days] forbode." I was furious. And more than a little nervous about the financial consequence.

Eventually, he met me half-way. Still unfair so far as I was concerned but given his incongruous threat to call the police --- to do what? --- I decided to take the money and run.

As I did, I found him sweeping up leaves near my car. I rolled down the window and told him, "You do not deserve fairness. And a day will surely come when you will need to depend upon someone being fair, even kind to you. I could wish you all the bad karma you have coming to you after this morning. But instead, I hope you are surprised by grace. I hope you get what you don't deserve: generous, gracious, better than fair kindness. I hope karma comes at you from the blindside and is good to you. I wish you grace." He smiled and had a tear running down his cheek as I drove away. No kidding.

That is not me. My initial notion was to give him one more piece of my mind.

I offered him a bit of my spirit, more gracious thanks to you all, instead and what a difference it made. For both of us. I was free.

I hope he felt free too.

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