"When you live on what’s essentially a sandbar, pollution, septic systems, and political roadblocks add up to one tough challenge."
"On an overcast july morning, Diane Carlson wades calf-deep into Cape Cod Bay to harvest her oysters, which grow 900 feet off the Brewster shore. She leans over a metal cage just revealed by the rapidly receding tide and flips open the lid. All chitchat ceases. 'I have to count now,' she says. 'I can’t talk when I’m counting.'
Carlson counts out five dozen, scraping tiny baby mussels off the shells as she goes, piling the oysters in a plastic bucket. Behind her a blue-gray sky meets a gray horizon, which smudges into the gray-green water: a snapshot of Cape Cod idyll. What the Cape is, sometimes; what we long for it to be, always.
Fifteen miles up Cape from Carlson’s oyster farm, the scene merges to the urban face of Cape Cod — the town of Barnstable. Sightseeing boats and commercial fishing vessels, all winches and rust, and the hulking ferries to the islands crowd the harbor off the village of Hyannis. Tourists throng the promenade: teenagers snapping selfies, a mom pulling two toddlers in a wagon, a middle-aged couple clutching maps and bottled water."