I don’t remember seeing foliage so brightly and diversely colored on the Island before this year. Take a look at the trees surrounding the Mill Pond, where the colors are as varied as any fall display remembered from my Connecticut childhood. That’s the spot that first comes to mind, but there are others. Just driving down State Road through North Tisbury one passes red and orange maples, yellow beeches, and when the light is right, oak leaves glowing dark orange. We still haven’t had a hard frost here. This has been a beautiful fall.
The Farmers Market was busy despite the wind and rain we had last Saturday. The Ag Hall smelled of wood smoke from a cozy fire. Tables were laden with displays of gorgeous produce, fresh eggs, tempting baked goods, jams, cheeses, and chocolates. Sean McMahon was tuning up his guitar. As he performed, groups of small children gathered to dance and sway to the music. I came home with bags filled with good, fresh food, and spent the rest of the afternoon cooking.
My brother Andy had come the day before to spend the weekend. We had a wonderful time together, way too short; I dropped him off at the ferry on my way to work Monday morning. The aforementioned market was one of our stops. We spent a lot of time walking and driving around admiring how beautiful the Vineyard looked, talking about everything, belatedly celebrating birthdays and looking forward to Christmas, but much of our time was spent in decidedly spiritual pursuits.
We attended the special Shabbat service at the Martha’s Vineyard Hebrew Center. It looked like most of the Island was there, filling the sanctuary with prayers, support, and goodwill toward the local Jewish community as we mourned the worshipers and policemen killed and wounded the week before at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. Members of every religious and civic organization came together. So many spoke eloquently, decrying the hatred and vitriol that has accelerated incidents of violence against one another. I could only cry throughout, as many others did, too.
On Sunday morning we went to the Unitarian Church service. Andy belongs to a Unitarian congregation in Westport, Conn., and wanted to attend a service here. We were warmly welcomed, and the minister and several congregants spoke about the service at the Hebrew Center and similar services around the country. Hatred had no place there or anywhere on our Island.
I trust that every congregation across the Vineyard upheld a commitment to our shared humanity, and to respect for both our neighbor and the stranger among us.
Many of us will be at the West Tisbury Church this coming Saturday, Nov. 10, to celebrate the life of Mike Achille, a longtime congregant and friend of many. The service begins at 2 pm.
At the library:
Thursday, Nov. 8, 4:30 pm, Eileen Maley will talk about her book, “No Fixed Address: How to Run Away From It All.”
Friday, Nov. 9, 7 pm, “The Boundless Creativity of Change: Appreciating the Whole Cycle of Impermanence,” presented by the Bodhi Path.
Saturday, Nov. 10, 3 pm, MVCMS sponsors a free concert by Quartet San Francisco, a program featuring tangos, Italian music, folk songs, and jazz.
The library is closed this Sunday and Monday for Veterans Day.
Tuesday, Nov. 13, 10:30 am, Dr, Stephen Gomperts will speak about Parkinson’s and Lewy body diseases and dementias. At 12:30 pm, public health nurse Lila Fischer and Medical Reserve Corps member Karen McPhail will present a program about being prepared for emergencies like hurricanes and winter storms. A wellness clinic will follow.
Wednesday, Nov. 14, 4:30 pm, Bruce MacNelly’s Architecture Series continues with “Mask/Veil: Façade and Identity.”
Thursday, Nov. 15, is the deadline for submissions to the library’s Community Photography Show.
The current art exhibition at the library is a two-woman show by Valentine Estabrook and Anne-Marie Eddy. Estabrook has hung a group of paintings from her “Spacewalks” series, inspired by images from the Hubble Space Telescope. The medium is acrylic that has been applied with Japanese papers instead of brushes. Eddy has experimented with adding color to epoxy resins to create different effects in her series of “Surf Circles.” Technically they grew from her work painting the furniture she sells in her store, Refabulous Decor.
Last spring I packed away my winter coats somewhere. They have to be somewhere in this house. My house isn’t that big, and there aren’t that many places I could have put them. So far, I haven’t found them. It’s incredibly frustrating to know that you put something somewhere you can’t remember. My husband, ever helpful, said, “Everything is somewhere.” Somewhere.