West Tisbury: Stop and start snow


Sunday was a perfect day to read the New York Times and watch intermittent snow falling outside our windows. It was so strange to see it coming down heavily enough to obliterate the view, but not sticking or accumulating, then the sun would come out for a bit, and the snow would start all over again.

I still wish, at age 68, to become one of those people who sees a snowy day indoors as an opportunity to paint a room or clean a closet or refinish a piece of furniture, or even to make a pot of soup. I appreciate the concept of “accomplishing something” and using my time “productively,” all euphemisms for doing something constructive instead of “wasting the day” reading on the sofa, cats by my feet, watching the snow fall. I tell my husband that I am busy improving my mind.

Mike, on the other hand, has to be chopping wood or “working in his shop,” his euphemism for doing something and being busy. I’m never sure what he does out there, as I don’t intrude on his work space, but things appear occasionally either on the top of his truck to be transported to a job site, or if I am lucky, they appear inside our house. Stairs. Closet doors. A new cupboard or bit of trim. I admire him tremendously and accept that we are different.

This coming weekend is Passover, beginning at sunset on Friday evening. It is also Good Friday, and will lead into Easter Sunday. Jews will retell the story of Passover around their tables at home, surrounded by family and guests. At the First Congregational Church of West Tisbury, there will be special services throughout the week. Thursday evening at 7:30 a Tenebrae service and communion will take place in the church sanctuary. On Easter Sunday morning, two services are planned. A traditional service will be held at 9 am in the church sanctuary. At 11 am there will be a Community Service at the Ag Hall, with childcare and church school, followed by an Easter egg hunt.

If you are an early riser, the Federated Church in Edgartown will have a sunrise service at 6:30 am on the lawn of the Mayhew Parsonage. If the weather is nice, it will be lovely to look out over the harbor during the service. Check the Federated Church website or call 508-627-4421 for information about the rest of the schedule.

The West Tisbury Church and the Martha’s Vineyard Hebrew Center will jointly host an Interfaith Freedom Seder at the Hebrew Center on Wednesday, April 4, at 7:30 pm. Rabbi Caryn Broitman and the Rev. Cathlin Baker will lead the Seder, which commemorates the first Freedom Seder, held 49 years ago in Washington, D.C. Rabbi Arthur Waskow led that Seder, which marked the one-year anniversary of the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King. Over 800 people attended — black, white, Jewish, Christian. The evening will be “an exploration of the meaning of freedom and liberation in history and in our lives.” Contact the Hebrew Center office, 508-693-0745, if you plan to attend.

The West Tisbury library will host its annual spring egg hunt this Saturday, March 31, beginning at 10 am SHARP. Children are asked to bring a basket for collecting their eggs, and to gather outside the front entrance to the library. After the hunt, craft supplies for egg-themed projects will be set out on tables in the children’s room and young adult’s room.

The library will be closed on Easter Sunday. Other events planned for the week include:

Thursday, March 29, 5 pm, the Martha’s Vineyard Chamber Music Society concert, “Four Centuries of Violin and Cello Duets,” is free and open to the public. Violinist Joseph Christianson and cellist Andres Vera of Quartet San Francisco will perform.

Saturday, March 31, 6 pm, a concert by Island singer-songwriters Siren Mayhew and Sean McMahon.

Monday, April 2, 11:30 am, Kanta Lipsky’s Balance Workshop. At 6 pm, the Martha’s Vineyard Seed Saving Club will meet.

Thursday, April 5, 4 pm, Emily LaPierre will lead a discussion and program, “Gentle Yoga for Traumatic Brain Injury Survivors and Caregivers.”

Ingrid Moore has set up a collection box at the library, part of her service project for Project 351, a nonprofit organization “celebrating the power of young people as a force for positive change.” Please leave your donations of new pajamas, socks, shoes (infant and child sizes 0 to 13, adult sizes 1 to 10), coats and clothing (youth sizes 0 to 20, adult sizes 1 to 10). Ingrid’s project is called “Cradles to Crayons.” Donations will be collected through April 8.

Lynne and Allen Whiting attended last weekend’s public debut of “A Painter Who Farms,” Barbarella and David Fokos’ film about Allen, shown at the Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival. It’s a 50-minute documentary and will be shown again sometime, probably many times, this summer. Lynne also mentioned that opening day at the Davis House Gallery will be Sunday, July 1.

A free Soil Health Workshop will be held at the Ag Hall on Saturday, April 7, sponsored by the Dukes County Soil Conservation District, Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Society, Island Grown Initiative, and Polly Hill Arboretum. There will be two session: two soil conservation and soil health specialists will open from 9 am to noon, discussing Vineyard soil types, interpreting soil tests, and a field soil assessment; from 1 to 3:30 the program will discuss the science of organic matter in soil, mobility of soil nutrients, and ways to improve soil health. On the panel will be Simon Athearn of Morning Glory Farm, Andrew Woodruff of Whippoorwill Farm, and Matthew Dix of North Tabor Farm and Thimble Farms, along with the morning speakers. Lunch will be provided during the noon break for those who preregister by emailing Bill Wilcox at dukesdistrict@yahoo.com before April 2. The program is funded by a grant from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs.

I walked out to my compost pile this morning and marveled at the tiny lavender crocuses that have spread beneath a cherry tree in my yard. They were a gift from Louise Bessire, maybe half-a-dozen bulbs I planted years ago. Now they have sprung up in places I never planted them, besides increasing the original planting. I have to take time to admire nature, its resilience, its determination. Plants will decide whether or not they will grow in the spot you chose for them. Birds and wind disperse their seeds, and the bulbs themselves propagate into larger clumps. Spring bulbs are the best gift I can imagine.