This I Believe

Kathryn - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Entered on June 2, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: nature, place

I believe in Montauk.

Montauk is like a small eclipse from the constant rush of demands. It is at the very end of Long Island, New York. To get there, drive past the overpriced, gargantuan houses of East Hampton, past the outlet stores in Amagansett, and then down a long, very narrow stretch of highway. Then you reach Montauk, the place where I could name all of the boats in the dock. Montauk makes me feel like I have put my life on pause and entered an alternate world.

Compared to the massive chain stores of the city, there is only one coffee shop, one-picture movie theater, and one drive-in. Its simplicity lends an otherwise unknown sense of security. Time there feels smoother with less rush and pressing work to be done.

My family stays at my grandparents’ house in Montauk for two weeks in August. The house is located a small bay which allows for an illusion of isolation. I could count the number of people who pass by our beach on one hand. This causes me to forget the massive world surrounding Montauk, and remember the small beauties that still exist.

I love how Montauk stresses the important part of the term “vacation.” It reminds me what I like to do, and not what I have to be. When all of the boats come in, each displays their catch proudly by filleting fish on the dock. Some even exhibit their prized catches for pictures because everybody knows to come down around 4 o’clock. When I was a little kid, my mom and I would bike down to the docks, and I would gape at the giant blues, sea bass and occasional sharks that the fishermen would remove from their boats. One of my most memorable experiences was poking a sea bass’ squishy marble eyes. That’s what it is like in Montauk, people let you poke their fishes’ eyes.

When I am in Montauk, it feels like the sea-salt air lifts me into a cushioned reality. Montauk is a place where I know the hotdog stand-man, take surfing lessons from my next door neighbor, and search for sea glass. I believe that everyone should have a place to remind herself of the small simplicities that she loves because in our world, that is so easy to forget.

Everyone should have a Montauk. This I believe.