The pedestrian path under con struction around Sunset Lake in Oak Bluffs reminds me of my favorite walk of childhood summers. It took me across the wooded East Chop Downs to Lake Anthony (the Oak Bluffs harbor), then along the harbor and across New York avenue to the towering Wesley House hotel (now Summer Camp hotel). Then I would go up through Montgomery Square and the arcade to Circuit avenue and to my ultimate destination, the Oak Bluffs Public Library.

I liked it so much because in those days the Downs were a woodland filled with singing birds, a picnic spot or two under the pines, a miniiature valley filled with tiger lilies, blueberries and huckleberries. At the harbor, there were rocks to jump on, one after the other, Today, the rocks are long gone, replaced by large motor yacht docks.

Sunset Lake eight decades ago was described as Over Jordan. It was a Biblical reference, I assumed, since the Methodist Camp Ground was just beyond it, although I never bothered to find out what the reference was. And since Lake Anthony was already a harbor in my childhood, I did not realize it had actually been a lake with a bridge across it until 1900.

A Centennial History of Cottage City that I unearthed from deep in a bookcase informed me of that. It told me too that by 1907, the town’s cottages were grander, and it had outgrown its name of Cottage City and was renamed Oak Bluffs. I have been wondering in recent years if that name too would change. The oaks on the bluffs are largely gone, and the bluffs themselves are of course being washed away.

In my East Chop childhood, there was room for a bench on top of the bluffs opposite Arlington avenue. I took sunset strolls there with a grandmother and a great-grandmother. We would watch the steamers pass and wave to them.

Happily today there is some good news. The town is working with FEMA for help to partially stabilize the endangered, now-closed sections of the bluffs between Brewster avenue and the lighthouse.

Other highlights of those trips to the library were cooling off with a Lemon Blend at a glass-topped table at Pearson’s Drugstore at the Arcade. And I never tired of watching the salt water taffy being pulled at Darling’s old popcorn store. There,I would buy a chocolate popcorn bar to munch on my trip home.

In more recent years, I have lived on the Lagoon in Vineyard Haven and at Indian Hill in North Tisbury and on State Road and Music street in West Tisbury. I have listened to pinkletinks and owls and watched the occasional pheasant on a stone wall on Indian Hill walks. I have scoured the sands above the Lagoon beach looking for arrowheads and for watercress in wet places. In West Tisbury on Sundays, before the surge of traffic bound for the Chilmark Store now that Alley’s is closed, I walk the Middle Road to Mermaid Farm. I admire the daisies and the Queen Anne’s lace, depending on the season, and I look for blueberries and husk tomatoes. At other times, I walk through the woods to Glimmerglass Pond to see and hear the waterfall tumbling. Occasionally I walk to the Tisbury Great Pond to see the swans that seem to have moved there as the Mill Pond grows shallower and shallower. If I am in Edgartown, Sheriff’s Meadow Pond and the lighthouse lure me on walks.

I enjoy each destination, but I have never forgotten the birdsong on the East Chop Downs, the jack-in-the-pulpits, Indian pipes and orange tiger lilies of eight decades ago. May the Sunset Lake path be fashioned to become inviting and inspiring for today’s Island walkers.