Perhaps the best aspect of living in Aquin nah is that my neighborhood is under the beacon of the lighthouse. There is a constant peace and calmness just watching the beams of the light day and night. The lighthouse beams across our neighborhood in silence throughout the night and dances around during the day.

I enjoy the familiarity of the generations of families who have remained over the decades and the homes that have surrounded ours for most of the past century, the neighbors who come and go while we remain throughout the winter months. The younger generations of the same families return each summer to enjoy the same solitude their elders have enjoyed. Six of the homes I can see from my windows have been in the same place for more than half a century.

There is the safety of walking across the road or down the road to visit with neighbors. There is the security of knowing the children are safe and able to ride their bicycles without much traffic and to walk next door for play dates as if they have their own private country lane.

I love the wildflowers that grow as if on schedule — lilacs, daffodils, narcissus, daylillies, blossoming beach plum bushes and rosa rugosa. An occasional tulip sprouts up when you least expect it. The trees, ever changing, are a sense of wonder.

Wild grapes drape the neighborhood; you think about making grape jelly and then simply snack on handfuls of them until they are all gone. Blueberry bushes are abundant and have been around for decades; they grow taller here than in most places and are very high to reach.

The deer are tame as they graze about. Rabbits race up and down the hillsides. An occasional skunk, raccoon, squirrel or feral cat pays a visit to the neighborhood. That is all right — we share the same space. Red-tailed hawks circle high above, watching over one and all.

Even on a busy day in July or August, it is peaceful at this westernmost tip of the Vineyard. During the day the whirl of boat engines floats across Vineyard Sound, the VTA bus joyfully rolls down Lighthouse Road, motorcycles and automobiles enjoy the scenic route. An occasional helicopter flies overhead, and so does the biplane on certain days. Once in awhile a jet goes by. But for the most part there are no airplanes flying above, no roar of boat engines cruising along Vineyard Sound, no traffic down Lighthouse Road for long stretches, no horns honking, little or no traffic. Rarely do you hear the sound of an emergency vehicle in town. Only the occasional chorus of birdsong fills the air. In summer construction crews have finished their hammering for the season, lawns are neatly mowed and trimmed. Is everyone at the beach? Well, some are at the pool!

Crickets are out at night, their chirps concluding the concert begun by the pinkletinks earlier in the evening.

Looking out over Vineyard Sound toward the Elizabeth Islands, a sailboat glides silently into view. No whitecaps today.

It is always a joy to greet a neighbor at their mailbox or yours, and sometimes the only way to catch up with each other during the busy season.

I love this quiet and familiar neighborhood and would not trade it for anything in the world. Having resided in many neighborhoods over the years, I can say with certainty that not one is as nice and comfortable as our Aquinnah neighborhood. This was the neighborhood where I first lived as a newborn, in my youth and for the past 21 years once again.

I plan to stay forever.

June D. Manning writes the Aquinnah column for the Gazette. This piece was originally penned for the Why I Love Where I Live column in the Tuesday Gazette, but regretfully time ran out on the Tuesday edition before it could be published.