The house felt chilly this morning when I came downstairs. The thermometer said 67°, a temperature that is usually comfortable enough for me, but this morning it wasn’t. As I started a fire, I thought how lucky I was to have plenty of firewood and kindling, a house with four intact walls in our safe and sheltering woods, all the opposite of what many people in Ukraine awoke to this same morning. Their New Year’s weekend was marked by bombs, death, hunger, cold, and insecurity. Ukraine is not the only place in the world where such conditions exist.
At the suggestion of Robert Hubbell, whose daily newsletter I read, I watched a YouTube video of President Zelensky’s New Year’s message to the Ukrainian people. It is inspiring, as is President Zelensky himself. I urge everyone to watch this remarkable young man speak to his people and to the world.
Another source of inspiration is the night sky. I saw a large, bright ball in the sky when I took Abby out the other night. When we came in, I asked Mike to come outside and look with me. “Do you know what that is?” I asked him. He looked at it, then at the computer, to discover that it is Jupiter, visible to the naked eye.
I have always been awestruck by the infinite enormity of space. One of my memorable school field trips was to the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. I have never been good at identifying constellations in clusters of stars, but I keep reading books about astronomy, and looking up at night, hoping that something will come together as a perfect scorpion, or horse or water-carrier. It remains a source of magic and mystery. Now there are images from the James Hubbell Space Telescope that anyone can see on their computer.
Closer to home, Peggy Stone sent me an email about the winter sports program that the parks and recreation department runs at the West Tisbury School. Saturday morning sports for students in grades 1 through 5 will resume this coming Saturday, Jan. 7, 9 am to noon. Registration forms were included in the latest school online newsletter. Parents can also register their kids in person at the gym on Saturday morning.
At the West Tisbury library this Sunday, Jan. 8, there will be an art opening for photographer Elliott Bennett from noon to 1:30 pm. At 2:30 pm, come to the Second Sunday Jazz Concert, featuring the Lucas Ostinato Trio. Both events are open to the public, with no sign-up required. Poet laureate Tain Leonard-Peck will lead a poetry workshop on Zoom on Wednesday, Jan. 11, at 4:30 pm. Sign up for the Zoom link at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are expecting a warm, rainy week ahead. It will be a perfect time to work inside, getting a start on winter projects. If you made New Year’s resolutions to go through your closet or clean your basement, this might be your opportunity. I have made no New Year’s resolutions, preferring to surprise myself if I actually accomplish something. I hope the same holds true for my husband, as I have terrifying memories of Mike when he gets into a cellar-cleaning mood; his basic method is to “back up the truck and throw things into it.” You can only imagine.