I was not born on Martha’s Vineyard, but it was pretty close. The first time I visited the Island was when mother was pregnant with me more than 50 years ago.

I have spent part of every year since on the Vineyard.

After I was born, my parents rented for a few summers then they bought a rustic duck hunting camp on a magical piece of land on Chilmark Pond. Since then it has been our refuge from the world — an oasis for our family that we have loved and cherished for two generations.

But it’s not ours anymore.

After 52 years, the Pond House has just been sold and our roots on the Vineyard have been cut.

It’s heartbreaking and overwhelming — but to be honest, it feels right.

My three brothers and I realized that much has changed in half a century, and that it was time to let the house go.

Sunset on the pond. — Bob Asher

It’s a humble home, built by legendary builder Daniel Manter in 1935 and then purchased by my mom and dad in 1967.

During that time, the Island has changed radically with the invasion of Presidents, private jets and air-conditioned McMansions. But life at our unheated, one-bathroom camp on the pond has mercifully been frozen in time. The house sits at the water’s edge surrounded by tall grasses and marsh mallows. The only sounds the rippling water, the wind in the reeds and the honking of geese — and in the distance the constant wash of the pounding surf.

Growing up, we would race to the ferry from Boston almost year-round, from chilly house openings in April to windy, gray closings in November.

As a young boy, my parents gave me the greatest gift of all on the property, a free-range childhood.

Grabbing a bucket, a fishing pole and a tackle box, I would hitchhike from the base of Abel’s Hill to Menemsha to fish off Dutcher Dock and the jetty. Why anyone picked me up on the way home with rotting bait in my bucket remains a mystery. (Back then it wasn’t calamari, it was squid and it was fish food.)

As I got older, my relationship with Island evolved. I spent summers painting houses, bartending at the Lampost and David’s Island House. Those were some endless summers for me, but family was the beating heart of the Pond House.

My parents were gracious and generous hosts — family and friends would come and visit unannounced. Everyone was welcome to share a cocktail on the deck or a lobster and a laugh.

I knew my wife was the one when I brought her to the Island more than 25 years ago and she immediately bonded to the house and the Island’s warm embrace.

Then we started a family of our own and suddenly my own children were running around on the same stretch of South Beach that I did. Pure, free, simple joy on the faces of my kids echoed my own childhood. The circle had been completed.

But time has moved swiftly. My dad is gone, my mom too fragile to travel. My carefree kids with sunburns and mosquito bites are in college now. I live in California and my other brothers are scattered from coast to coast.

Times have changed — schedules are booked a year in advance, the spontaneity that fueled the Vineyard experience has been replaced by rigorously maintained Google calendars. The simple house on Chilmark Pond had become more a burden than a blessing, and that was not right.

We’ve never taken our temporary stewardship of the house for granted. We know how blessed we have been, but it’s time for someone else to wave to the swans and geese who come to visit every day.

But it hurts. The house and the Island are deep in my DNA, part of who I am, and that will never change.

James Taylor, the formative artist of my Island youth, had it right: “The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time.”

I’ve done just that for my entire life on the Vineyard.

A new chapter begins now. Thank you mom and dad, so long to MVY friends. I’ll be back soon.

Bob Asher lives in Los Angeles and formerly Chilmark.