Chilmark: M.V. Garden Club, Land Bank trails, Historic Commission, and Blessing of the Fleet

—MV Times

Turtles are out. After a decent rainfall, a puddle forms in the driveway where it crosses the brook. Flies skim over the surface of the warming water, and some turtles take advantage.

The apple trees are blooming, and I have bean seeds to plant. Planting beans alone is harder. Grief is difficult. This past week the glorious azaleas Dad planted when he was writing his dissertation in the ’50s burst into bloom, and that is lovely, but I want to run up the hill with a branch and wave it under Dad’s nose so he can inhale their beautiful, delicate scent and hear his voice say, “How lovely.” I have tried to take a picture of my parents surrounded by blossoms every spring. This afternoon I will photograph Mum.

Martha’s Vineyard Garden Club’s annual Plant Sale takes place on Saturday, May 27, and Sunday, May 28, from 10 am to 2 pm, at the Old Mill in West Tisbury. The Old Mill’s address is 690 Edgartown–West Tisbury Road.

The Land Bank reports, “Our crew is busy this spring making our properties gorgeous for all the Islanders and summer visitors! Yesterday they installed new stairs at Great Rock Bight in Chilmark. Go check them out! ‘It’s all downhill from here!’”

The Chilmark library is offering “Poetry Drop-In” with Donald Nitchie on Wednesday, May 31 at 4:30 pm. It’s a workshop of in-class writing exercises using poems as models. All levels and abilities are welcome. Email to sign up and get the Zoom invite. Free, sponsored by the Friends of the Chilmark Library. 508-645-3360.

Also at the library, on Saturday, June 3, at 1 pm.: “Writing for Young People.” Are you working on a picture book, middle-grade, young adult story, or nonfiction for young people? Or have you always wanted to?Share your work, critique, and discuss favorite books. Come experience the joy that is creating stories for kids. All levels welcome! Facilitated by Tracy Thorpe, programs coordinator at the Chilmark library, and MFA, Creative Writing for Young People, Lesley University. Email to sign up and get the Zoom invite. Free, sponsored by the Friends of the Chilmark Library.

The Chilmark Historic Commission is in need of a new member. The commission meets approximately eight times a year, providing advisory opinions to alterations to historic structures, reviewing proposed demolition of historic structures and restoration of roadside stonewalls, maintaining a collection of Chilmark pictures and memorabilia, and hearing public comments/requests involving Chilmark’s history. If you are a resident of Chilmark and are interested in becoming a member, please contact Alison Kisselgof at 508-560-4089 for more information.

Please join the Chilmark Community Church on Sunday, May 28, at 9 am, for a Blessing of the Fleet at Menemsha Harbor. Musical guest Mark Alan Lovewell will assist.

Also, the church’s Community Meal on Tuesday, May 30, at 6 pm, is the last one until fall. It will be an Italian feast.

Menemsha is busy. Both Larsen’s Fish Market and the Menemsha Fish Market have joined Island Eats. What a great way for us to cut down on the plastic containers. Just like borrowing a book from the library, you can now borrow Island Eats reusable and returnable containers at 18 Island cafes, restaurants, and markets, including our own Menemsha Fish Market and Larsen’s. Whether you’re after a lobster roll or fresh Martha Rose sea scallops, you can now get your order plastic-free! And Island Eats participating restaurants offer $1 off every item you order in an Island Eats bowl. Those interested in joining can choose a free or paid membership and get started via their app, called USEFULL, available in both the Apple Store and Google Play Store.

This time of year life seems to speed up, just when I want to slow down, not wanting to miss the moment buds open, turtles nest, and birds return. Walk often and drive slowly. And turn off your phone.

“’Knowledge comes but wisdom lingers, because wisdom cannot or will not come by railroad, or automobile, or aeroplane, or be hurried up by telegraph or telephone. She is more likely to come on foot, or riding on an ass … than in any of our chariots of fire and thunder.”  –John Burroughs, “In the Noon of Science,” Atlantic Monthly, September 1912

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