After a great deal of thought, our family has decided to sell Red Gate Farm. This may come as a surprise to members of the Island community, so we wanted to share our reasoning. The Vineyard will always be a part of our lives. The Island and people here have touched our family in ways for which we will be forever grateful. Being able to raise our children in a place that meant so much to my mother and my brother has kept them close to our hearts. Now that our children are grown, it is time for them to spread their wings, and for us to explore new places.

I dimly remember my first visit to Martha’s Vineyard. I was a little girl when we sailed over from Hyannis Port and climbed the cliffs at Windy Gates. Those memories came back in the late 1970s when my mother told us that she had fallen in love with the rolling hills, wild dunes and silent ponds of Aquinnah. A group of people she knew were having second thoughts about buying a large property on Squibnocket Pond. She decided to move quickly, and having acquired one of the most beautiful places on earth, she took great pride in her real estate acumen as well as in her stewardship of nature.

My mother believed that a North Atlantic summer was one of the most magical gifts in life. She had grown up spending summers in East Hampton and Newport with her parents and grandparents. She loved exploring the Cape, sailing Nantucket Sound with my father, and being part of all the family activities in Hyannis Port. But when my brother and I were grown, she wanted a place of her own.

Red Gate Farm provided her with the sanctuary she needed and the freedom to be close to nature, her family, her friends and her books. It was a perfect expression of her romantic and adventurous spirit. She loved the old stone walls, the blue heron that lived in the pond behind the dunes, the hunting cabin that was the only thing on the property when she acquired it, the clay cliffs, the Wampanoag legends, and building a fairy tree-house for her grandchildren.

She researched the history of New England architecture and its farm buildings. She wanted a house “built to weather.” No pool and no air conditioning — she wanted to swim in the ocean and breathe the salt air. No tennis court — she hated the sound of balls being whacked around, but relented eventually.

She bicycled to the Gay Head Lighthouse every morning, and checked the tide charts so she could run on the beach at low tide. She spent late afternoons reading on the deck, and loved the literary life of the Island. She was always ready for a trip to Berta’s shop on the Gay Head Cliffs or The Galley in Menemsha for soft ice cream.

Together we wove the traditions of summer across three generations — setting lobster pots in Menemsha Pond, entering the Fair and never winning, growing a vegetable garden, bringing home the best shell from the beach every day, getting stuck at the airport when the fog rolled in. It’s hard to believe it has been 25 years since she left us.

My mother taught us by example that life always offers new adventures. When she married Aristotle Onassis, she embraced her life in Greece and learned all she could about the ancient Mediterranean. One of her favorite poems was Ithaka by Constantin Cavafy which has the lines:

. . . Hope your road is a long one.

May there be many summer mornings when,

with what pleasure, what joy,

you enter harbors you’re seeing for the first time;

may you stop at Phoenician trading stations

to buy fine things,

mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony,

sensual perfume of every kind—

as many sensual perfumes as you can;

and may you visit many Egyptian cities

to learn and go on learning from their scholars . . .

Our family will always come back to Martha’s Vineyard. We are keeping our mooring, a beach key and a small house, but now it’s time for us to discover new ports of call. We hope that another family will treasure Red Gate Farm as we have — it’s still the most beautiful place on Earth.