I’m not angling to turn this into a travel blog but I do have travel on my mind as I’ve done a lot of it over the past few months, so here we are again. Last week I talked about traveling to new places. That led me to think about another trip I’ve recently taken. This time it was to a place I know well: A few weeks ago my husband and I traveled to the U.S. to spend Thanksgiving with my family. The trip included one night on an island Ive been going to my whole life (as I always proudly tell people, I celebrated my first birthday there so I really do mean my whole life). So, instead of discussing the experience of seeing someplace new, I want to talk about going home.
Block Island is a little island in New England, just off the coast of Rhode Island. It is full of natural beauty along with miles of postcard worthy, crumbling stone walls that I appreciated even as an easily distracted teenager. It’s changed some since I was little but there was and still is the kind of relaxed, down to earth atmosphere that allows you to breathe a little easier and let your hair down. That type of place, where you really, truly, feel more at ease, can be hard to find. At least it felt hard to find in the beautiful but somewhat buttoned-up town where I grew up. I liked that town but Block Island is where I went when I wanted to feel at home. Growing up, I went quite often and developed a strong bond with the place. I even created rituals: I would always visit the same spot overlooking the water, both when I arrived to tell the island hello, and again when I was leaving, to salute the ocean and take in one last view. Another important ritual was simply watching the sunset and then quietly scanning the sky for the first stars to come out. I did it every chance I had, often with good friends, and most typically while precariously perched on a rooftop. It’s something I still try to do now, no matter where I am. Just minus the balancing act on a very slanted roof.
So why am I telling you all of this? Probably because the holidays are coming and for a lot of us that means travel, thoughts of home, nostalgia and tradition (or ritual, if you will). Visiting Block Island this time made me realize how much Rome has already come to mean home to me, but also what a big impact this small island has made on my life and the lens I observe it through. I’m still seeking out the beauty in nature that I came to appreciate so much during all my time on Block Island, even though I live in a very different kind of environment now. I realized I’ll always carry that with me, like we all carry little pieces of home around with us in different ways. I’m also telling you all of this because it has me wondering how that manifests itself for you in your daily life.
So here are a few images of this place I love so much. I hope they convey why.