By, Harriet Bernstein
Published in Martha's Vineyard Magazine, July 2009
A hand-written sign on your right says, "15 mph, please." The fields on your left stretch farther than you might imagine an island could. The sky overhead seems to sing from some church on-high, and when the quiet road gets even quieter, a clump of trees swallows you behind a colorful sight that reads: "FOREVER WILD." A shaded Buddha greets you, as does an artful crop of large stones. A broken paddle points to "The Shack". It's overgrown, native, and - in-short - wild.
To enter this hallowed ground is like stepping into a pair of soft moccosins. The native landscape, the handmade signs, the proximity of the sea, and the quietude confer on you a sense of well-being and protection - a well-being that has been cherished and preserved since the early forties by three generations of one family, the Wilds, who came from Mamaroneck, New York.
Within the abundant nature of Forever Wild, an old hunting shack hides. It is softened by bushes, shined by years of affection, and nestled next to Edgartown Great Pond. Lauren Lowenthal, a vivacious Vineyard enthusiast, is one of the luckier lovers of Forever Wild. She has eagerly spent summers renting the shack since 2005.
"The whole place just makes me happy, so happy," says the writing instructor and former screen-writer, who winters in Manhattan. "It is charming, whimsical, and elegant all at the same time...and authentic for sure."
After visiting friends in Edgartown and staying with them in houses on Water Street for twenty years, Lauren dreamed of her own little house she could rent on the water - that wasn't "furnished from a catalogue," as she puts it. She got even more than her dream. She got to carry on a tradition, the tradition started with the Wilds almost seventy years ago, of a natural and relaxed life in a remote setting.