Telling Stories

 Tales of Granite Point

Ellen Herrick

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There is a small town on Cape Cod.  It is by the ocean and the scent of privet and salt, the sound of gulls and waves are so lovely, even life-long residents lift their heads and breathe deep when summer comes.  There are dogs on the porches on sunny days, and gossips, too.  Children ride their bicycles down the sandy lanes, playing cards stuck in the spokes to make a rat-a-tat sound that snaps over the wild sweet peas.  Bees and butterflies share the honeysuckle climbing the fences and young lovers pause behind the blossoms to steal a kiss.

Granite Point is a fishing village, still.  Never mind the city folk who come on weekends and in August to inhale its beauty like pure oxygen.  It is the locals who are the beating heart of this town.  There are the lobstermen whose biceps are big and strong as lampposts from hauling traps, the boat-maker whose small workshop has built nearly every wooden sailboat on Little Point Bay, and the fireman who came back from the big city to bend the wood to his will and mend his broken heart.  Everyone knows the biology teacher who has helped more than one student get into a university far from home and the professor, new to town, who makes the little local college seem so much bigger. They have all needed the doctor, the minister, the lone taxi service, or the police chief at one time or another.  There are plenty of boys in love with the Sparrow sisters who run the plant nursery, still more who moon over the mother and daughter whose bakery off the village green sends out a smell so enticing people follow it until they find the shop.  Children grow up and leave Granite Point, as they should, but many come back, some with feet dragging and eyes still turned to the outside world, others because they are drawn home as if by the tide. 

There is darkness, too in this town.  It gathers in the woods that ring the far edges of the place.  Sometimes, it spills into the town, slipping down the small Main Street, icy fingers grabbing the unsuspecting, the weak, the lonely.  And then, the stories of this village turn and the people of the town feel a shiver run through them.  There are not always happy endings in Granite Point.

These people, the ones who try so hard to keep the darkness at bay, they are the blood and bone of Granite Point and their stories are the wind that whispers through the beach plums.  They are ordinary people and yet there is something extraordinary about each of them.  Some might call it a blessing, this town of kindness and grace.  Patience Sparrow, whose small cart tilts under flowers and vegetables where it sits by the ocean road, she will tell you that it is magic.


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