West Tisbury


We finished our taxes early enough Sunday afternoon to take the dogs out for a walk to see the newly cut opening. It was spectacular. Waves roared from the ocean into the Great Pond. Nature in its magnificence.

Everywhere I look seems magnificent lately. Magnolia trees are blooming in front of Olsens’ and in the Bessires’ sheltered garden. Along the Mill Pond the multiflora roses are covered in shiny new leaves, their long stems arching atop and through whatever they meet. Forsythia is a froth of golden flowers, as are the daffodils beneath them. I am noticing mayapples, leaves still curled tightly around their stems, pushing their way out of the earth, and Solomon’s Seal with green or variegated leaves appearing underneath the rhododendrons in our back yard. Earlier today I saw a stand of Cornus Mas with their delicate yellow flowers set off against a background of dark cedars. I don’t remember ever noticing them before, or any others of that variety looking like tallish open trees instead of the twiggy bushes one usually sees. Every day there is a new discovery.

Before I forget, Bea Amaral asked me to mention that someone left a pair of bifocal glasses on her counter at Bea’s Fabric Shop. It’s been awhile, since last January. Please call her at 508-693-2581 if they might be yours.

Asking about missing items, does anyone have two Alex Katz books I might have loaned you? I can’t find them anywhere.

The Vineyard Conservation Society has planned a beach cleanup for this Saturday, April 20, from 10 am till noon. Volunteers are invited to help out at any of several beaches on the island. The West Tisbury beaches are Lambert’s Cove and Cedar Tree Neck.

Don’t forget the interim library is closing Monday nights at 6 until we are back in our “real” library building. Mother Goose on the Loose programs are at Martha’s Vineyard Community Services on Tuesdays at 10:30 am. Thursday, April 18, MGOL meets at the Oak Bluffs Library at 10:30, and at the Vineyard Haven Library, same time, next Thursday, April 25.

Because of our space limitations, the Bunch of Grapes Bookstore has graciously agreed to host our library’s semi-annual Community Poetry Reading this Sunday, April 21, at 3 pm. All are invited to the free event. Bring a poem of your own to read, or one of your special favorites, or just come to listen and appreciate.

When I stopped over at Betty Haynes’s earlier today, I asked her about the beautifully painted fish hanging along a line over the Weiner children’s play yard at the Glass Works next door. She sent me along to ask Mark and Michiko myself, which I did, and got a colorful explanation of the symbolism of the holiday, with Michiko’s childhood memories mixed in.

It turns out that May 5 is Children’s Day in Japan, the fifth day of the fifth month, part of the Golden Week. According to Wikipedia, “It is a day set aside to respect children’s personalities and to celebrate their happiness.” The fish-shaped flags or wind socks are called koinobori, after the carp they resemble. Each flag represents a member of the family. Michiko uses the fish her family displayed when she was a child in Japan. Her flag now flies for her daughter, Kiyla. Her son, Aki, inherited his fish from one of his uncles. Michiko and Mark are now the mother and father, flying the two larger carp that used to represent her parents. It is a lovely tradition and Michiko takes pride in the fact that these flags have been passed down through her family and that she continues the tradition.

Always one to delight in an occasion, I am charmed by the explanation, and the idea of valuing the uniqueness and happiness of children in this way. Maybe I will have to find beautifully decorated koinobori for our house to celebrate the children in our lives.