It’s a quiet and gentle morning. I got up early (5:30!) to write this column, hoping to find inspiration before the work of the day begins. The cat has come for his breakfast, I can see the birds at the feeder, and Charley is still asleep. I am grateful for this early morning sunshine and for the peace.
The work today includes preparing to go to California. (Again! This makes it twice in one month). This time it is to help my sister Julie as she copes with the deepest grief of losing her husband, my beloved brother-in-law Rob, after over 70 years of marriage.
It is fitting, somehow, that on this Memorial Day we will be going through all of the machinations that are required when someone dies. I think about all of those parents, all of those wives or husbands, all of those sisters and brothers and children who are left to cope after receiving the visit or telegram or letter from whatever branch of the service their relative had served in, telling them the worst. During the terrible aftermath, they are faced with breaking the news to relatives and friends, putting together some kind of remembrance, dealing with bureaucracies, facing a future that looks so basically different from what they had planned. The initial time of grieving is not when your mind is at its best. This is not the time when you should be asked to do those things.
For our family, as I expect is true for most loving families, being together with those you trust the most seems essential. So here I go, onto the ferry, onto the bus, onto the airplane, crossing the country. Thinking of love. Thinking of Rob and Julie. Holding onto whatever courage I can muster.
Meanwhile, life goes on.
There is a fledgling Vineyard group, called the Beach BeFrienders, inspired by a January Philbin Beach visit when they found loads of confetti-size bits of plastic in the wrack line. Thanks to a collaboration with the Vineyard Conservation Society, Island libraries, Island DPWs and the M.V. Refuse District, they have scheduled monthly beach cleanups on Saturday mornings beginning May 27, and ending on Oct. 28, from 8 to 10 am. Each time, cleanup kits will be available at the beaches or at any Island library, along with free dump stickers so you can drop off whatever you glean. Free DQ ice cream tokens will be given to kids under 12 who participate. The first cleanup is scheduled for May 27 at our own Philbin Beach. The rest of the schedule is: June 24, Chilmark/Squibnocket; July 22, Oak Bluffs/Inkwell; August 26, Edgartown/South Beach; Sept. 23, West Tisbury/Lambert’s Cove; and Oct. 28, Vineyard Haven/Oak Bluffs/Eastville.
Beginning on June 5, every Monday and Wednesday morning at 9 at the Aquinnah Town Hall, a Vinyasa yoga class will be held. The class is being led by Neva Goldstein, a 500-hour advanced certified yoga instructor with more than 25 years of teaching experience. She offers her students an opportunity to explore yoga at their own level in a supportive environment. She says, “Each class leaves students with a feeling of renewed energy and peacefulness.” Get this onto your calendar — it seems as if we might all need this! The cost is $20 per class, and she asks that you bring your own mat if possible.
On May 28, Nonie Madison and Susie Bologna share a birthday, and on May 31, Roxane Ackerman celebrates as well.
I am getting into the rhythm of writing this column. My copy is due to the paper on the Sunday prior to Thursday publication. This means that I have to try and think a week ahead, and news that comes to me between Sunday afternoon and publication is too late to be inserted into the column in a timely fashion. This explanation is given as a plea to you to send me your information at least a full week in advance of when you’d like to see it included. You can write to me at email@example.com. Thanks. I look forward to hearing from you.
If you have any Aquinnah Town Column suggestions, email Kathie Olson, firstname.lastname@example.org.