Chilmark: Stillpoint Meadows, Seán McMahon, Ayurveda, and Hildegard of Bingen

—MV Times

Nurturing the gardenia. The fat buds look like they will open in time for Mother’s Day. It was Dad’s gift to her years ago. He’d recently lost his sight. I drove the car. His loving hands gently ran over stems, leaves, and buds. Bending his body to inhale an opened blossom, he smiled. This was the one.

Is it OK that we are OK? Of course it is, and Mum and I are slowly spreading our wings.

For Mother’s Day, my husband and I are giving Mum the weekend Writing From the Heart workshop with Nancy Aronie.

It is a pleasure and a joy to be getting out of the driveway together. She has a wonderful circle of friends she hasn’t seen in years, and it is delightful to see her reconnect.

Virginia Stone’s exhibit of drawings at the West Tisbury library is lovely, and her reception was generously accompanied by yummy cheeses, crackers, fruit and nuts, and beverages.

Olivia Gately does a terrific job of programming for the West Tisbury library, and we were delighted to find that free Mother’s Day portraits were offered in the Children’s Room by photographer Lynn Christoffers. Neither of us were prepared to be photographed, but seized the moment. Lynn and Mum recognized each other, reconnected, and reminisced about small gatherings and Olga Hirshorn.

Congratulations to Thomas Bena, Jake Davis, Dana Nunes, and everyone else involved in Stillpoint Meadows for receiving approval from the MVC last week. It is a beautiful vision — a place that will nurture our community. I look forward to making connections and experiencing what the community brings to this barn and quiet land.

Shirley W. Mahew’s Celebration of Life Memorial is on Friday, May 12, 4 to 7 pm., at the Agricultural Hall on Panhandle Road in West Tisbury. This will be a “cocktail hour” event. There will be a program of speakers at 4, followed by a reception with live music by Katie and Seán. The family will be providing wine and nonalcoholic beverages, and are asking guests to bring potluck plates of finger food. The event is open to the public. Please email Deborah Mayhew at with any questions.

Sunday, May 14, Seán McMahon will be playing at the Chilmark Community Church. The Rev. Charlotte Wright wrote, “We are pleased to announce and welcome a new music director!

Seán McMahon has been a friend of the church since he arrived on M.V. in 2016 — he has accompanied us for Sunday worship at times, and played at our Offerings of Music and Light.

He is a husband, father, and Catholic musician. He is a graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music, where he majored in contemporary improvisation, with a focus on jazz, world, and early sacred music theory and composition. A former Baptist preacher with a passion for theology, over the years McMahon has shared his gifts in a variety of faith contexts as an ecumenical missionary of the church. He will be playing for Sunday morning worship at 9 am beginning May 14. Come welcome him to the Chilmark Church family this Sunday!” I am thrilled by this news.

Taking the time to take care of ourselves is as important as the chores, and this sounds great.

May 13, 4 to 5 pm, Look into Ayurveda for spring at the Chilmark library: “Ayurvedic Self-Care Practices for the Spring,” with Sonja Josephson, a Kripalu-certified ayurvedic health counselor. Ayurveda has its roots in ancient India. It is among the world’s oldest holistic healing systems, dating back more than 3,000 years. Ayurveda is an elemental science, offering a framework of holistic healing connecting the individual to the qualities and rhythms of nature. Each season presents us with an increase in certain qualities in the environment, therefore in order to maintain balance, we must adjust our diets and lifestyles accordingly. Join this workshop, which will explore balancing diet, lifestyle, and delicious recipes for self-care practices.

The workshop is in person. Email for more information. It’s free; sponsored by the Friends of the Chilmark Library. Call 508-645-3360 for more information.

The buds on the azaleas burst open yesterday.

North Tabor Farm’s Mama Crouton’s 11 piglets are doing well, and on view on sunny days in the pen behind the farmstand. Their wintered-over spinach is something I eagerly await all year, and turnips are in.

All of this reminded me of words written by Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179).

I am that great and fiery force
sparkling in everything that lives;
in shining of the river’s course,
in greening grass that glory gives.

 I shine in glitter on the seas,
in burning sun, in moon and stars.
In unseen wind, in verdant trees
I breathe within, both near and far.

And where I breathe there is no death,
and meadows glow with beauties rife.
I am in all, the spirit’s breath,
the thundered word, for I am Life.

We are life.

If you have any Chilmark Town Column suggestions, email Claire Ganz,