West Tisbury


There’s a sense of magic I get every year as I drive up over the slight rise from Dan’l’s Way towards Riggs’s on the Edgartown Road. Light illuminates the trees, towering old maples, their bare and arching branches

soaring into the sky. Every year I watch them carefully and every year I am caught by surprise the morning they turn green.

The maples lining the Main Street of my childhood always effected the same legerdemain. Main Street was my daily walk, to school, then to work, often just to walk because it was there and it was beautiful, familiar to my feet and my eyes. And every spring those maples thwarted my vigilance. Like Charlie Brown and the Great Pumpkin, I fell asleep and somehow missed the moment those new leaves appeared, like magic, overnight.

The cherry tree at Polly Hill’s has opened, more splendid than I remember. Same for the double row of pears at the cemetery. I am noticing mayflowers, skunk cabbage, mayapples, and hostas, all tightly furled. Our lawn is a tapestry of violets — purple, blue, white, magenta, speckled — the bane of my husband’s existence, but I find them windblown wild and serendipitous, nature designing the landscape as intended.

Brooks Robards and Jim Kaplan were on the Island this weekend. Brooks and I had been invited to speak at Pathways Saturday night about a book we are working on together of Brooks’s poems and my paintings and drawings. It was wonderful to have them here, even for a short visit. We got to have breakfast together at the airport Sunday morning before everyone dispersed for their list of chores.

Jennifer, Lily, and Hannah Haynes were breakfasting at the table next to us, a “girls morning out.” I thought maybe Bruce was getting a morning to sleep in, but was informed that he was home refinishing their floors.

Laura Hearn Caruso has taken up jewelry-making, very successfully. Her leather and beaded bracelets are becoming a familiar accessory on wrists around town. She and two friends set up a wonderful trunk show Sunday afternoon to which I was invited. And went. Not only were the wares enticing, the view of Town Cove is always one of my favorites. Huckleberry Pink, Gwynyth Wallace’s handmade creams, lotions, and scrubs, looked and smelled delicious. They are all scrupulously natural, organic, and I can’t wait to try the jar I came home with. Tarra Corcoran is the third member of the trio. Her company is called “Girlettes,” and it’s just what it sounds like. She makes all the girly hair ribbons and ornaments one could imagine for little girls. She also make the softest, most cuddly dolls out of polar fleece with appliqué fabric and embroidered features. Laura, who is also an amazing dog trainer, now calls her business “1 woman 2 worlds.” It is obvious that she is successful in both. Congratulations to all three women for getting this show together.

Tom Dresser has written a new book, “Women of Martha’s Vineyard,” which includes the biographies of “fifteen prominent women who made significant contributions to the island community.” From West Tisbury are Nancy Luce, Nancy Whiting, Dionis Riggs, and Polly Hill. Tom will be reading, speaking, and selling his book on Wednesday, May 8, 7 pm, at the Vineyard Haven Library.

Dinny Montrowl invites one and all to a family-friendly workday at the West Tisbury Church this Saturday, May 4. Bring gloves, weeders, rakes, and your kids. Children will plant annuals around the church, plant sunflower seeds to take home, and play games, while the grownups give the church and gardens a good spring cleaning. There will be a barbecue at noon. Please RSVP so the committee knows how much food to buy. The phone number is 508-693-2842. The church will provide water, lemonade, compostable utensils and plates, and asks everyone to bring their own water bottle or drink container. The goal is to keep trash down to a minimum.

Kristin Buck of Martha’s Vineyard Women’s Network announced the choice of Heidi Feldman and Curtis Friedman of Down Island Farm in West Tisbury as recipients of their annual business grant. The $2,500 grant will be awarded on Thursday, May 9, at Featherstone. The group’s final program begins with a walk around Featherstone’s trails with Dr. Wendy Chabot of Vineyard Mind and Body and Kim Cartwright of Om of Motion. They will offer tips and strategies for healthy living during the high season. A light breakfast will follow. For more information, check their website: www.mvwomensnetwork.org.

Bea Phear and the West Tisbury Planning Board urge voters to attend a special town meeting coming up on May 21. Two agenda items are proposed bylaws regulating use and distribution of medical marijuana in town.

The opening to the Great Pond, cut only a few weeks ago, has already closed, apparently at high tide. There is still beach for a walk-around with the dogs. The colors are changing every day, perhaps with more subtlety than the riotous cherry and pear trees intentionally planted, but as beautiful, nonetheless.