In a large field in West Tisbury a farmer mows hay. The stalks are waist high, deeply green and waving in the morning breeze. He drives his tractor up and back all day long, slowly transforming the landscape.

On Saturday, the newly mown stalks dry in the sun. Birds enjoy a cocktail party of seeds, as do mice, rabbits and other woodland creatures.

On Sunday, the farmer and his tractor are back, arranging the hay in long thick rows. On Monday, the hay is collected in large round bales. A young child runs through the field, his arms wide, roaming from one bale to another, tagging each one as if to say, you’re it, no, you’re it.

This scene could be last weekend, a year ago or a half century ago, which makes it all the more remarkable here on the cusp of July Fourth week on an Island that will soon see its population swell to such a degree it is a wonder the land doesn’t sink a few feet deeper into the ocean.

Ready or not, summer 2019 has officially arrived.

Many greet this with open arms. Businesses are booming, beaches calling, kayaks dusted off from winter hibernation, the blues and stripers running, seasonal friends returning, long days and barbecue fueled nights — what’s not to love.

Others turn turtle, ducking back into their shells decrying the crowds, the rush, the commerce, the infrastructure bulging at the seams, the noise, the ticks, the sky-high prices — the bloom is off the rose they say, you should have been here twenty or forty years ago.

The common denominator is that both perspectives care deeply about this place.

The Island has indeed changed over the decades and yet it has also stayed in some ways the same, standing apart from the “real world” thanks to faithful stewards of the land and sea. Countless names recalled out loud along with those forgotten or who prefer to remain anonymous have watched and acted in the interest of the Island rather than themselves, because that is what it takes to maintain a small town feel that on most days feels a world away from the rancor of the wider world.

Of course no place is perfect and a service economy relying on tourist dollars will always carry with it a split personality. But for the moment, as the season opens, let us put aside that stance, whether arriving by ferry or private jet, whether on vacation or working overdrive.

Instead, let us walk outside after dark to watch the fireflies mirroring the stars with their twinkle, a small bunny experiencing her first taste of summer clover, old friends toasting the twilight, and the children playing board games by candlelight as the dog snores on the couch, tuckered out after another perfect summer day.

Tag, you’re it.