This year, I almost decided this would be my last summer in Ptown. I've been coming here for seventeen years; every year it gets a little harder to transplant two adults and two beagles for two months or so to the end of a wharf at the last curve of a peninsular question-mark. If Al Gore's right, my property won't outlast me; a rise in sea-levels of a few inches would put my place under-water. And then I get here, and slowly, the real world flakes off, and the harbor seduces again; and I realize that my attachment to this place is some kind of gift I have no right to refuse. If I have a home, it is somewhere out here. It's where I want my ashes spread when I die, out in the farthest moors where the first Englishmen first encountered America, and where they rightly decided to move on in search of more permanent ground.

So we'll pack up today, and drive home for ten hours and leave the tides and skies and dunes and freaks behind again. How not to feel sad? This place has a safe transience to it: a sand-bar created by thousands of years of mere tides, on which a crew of us hang out each summer, a gaggle of different equals, with dirty feet and faded clothes and the occasional tattered boa. It couldn't be more different than Washington, D.C.. Which is the point, I guess. It's an elsewhere that makes somewhere endurable: a little, translucent heaven on a darkening, serious earth.

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