In this troubling time, I find myself recalling a favorite Wendell Berry poem, The Peace of WIld Things, which includes these beautiful lines:

When despair for the world grows in me, and I wake in the night at the least sound in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be, I go and lie down where the wood drake rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.

Here on Chappaquddick, it is quiet, as always, but it seems that a few more houses have lights on and a few more neighbors are out walking the roads and trails. My family and others are finding comfort in the outdoors. We walk the trails to the Outer Islands, to Quammox, to Brine’s Pond. We visit East Beach, following the meandering boardwalk from the bridge to the open ocean. We stop at Mytoi to sit for a few peaceful moments in the tea house. On warmer days, we ride our bikes to North Neck, up to Cape Pogue Bay and all the way out to the windswept views of Wasque. A few moments outside settles my mind and body and reminds me that all will once again be well.

I am relieved to see the first green shoots emerging from the earth, bringing the hope of spring. I have spotted the first daffodils, appearing in their usual warm pockets around the Island. At the farm, we have tulips beginning to bloom in the greenhouse, purple and pink and red petals lifting up from their green foliage. In an effort to spread joy and give a little warmth to your home, I will be putting free bunches out at the end of the driveway a few days a week while they last. Please take just one per family and leave the rest for others to enjoy.

My daughter and I planted the first seeds in our greenhouse this week. We filled Juna’s pockets with peas which she handed to me one by one to place in the furrow I made in the bed. Inevitably, some slipped through her little fingers onto the ground at her feet where they will germinate and attempt to grow. We also sowed baby greens, dreaming of eating our first salad as we tried to drop the tiny seeds by hand in thin lines across the bed. Juna helped water the new crops and the tulips before we drained the hose once more in preparation for another cold night.

Like all Island events, anything upcoming at the Chappy Community Center has been cancelled. If you would like to get outside and be productive, Lindsay Allison says there are lots of sticks that need to be collected and picked up at Mytoi. You can contact her at 617-515-3348 if you are interested in assisting.

If you need help of any kind, Several of the churches on Island, including Grace Church in Vineyard Haven (508-693-0332) and the First Congregational Church of West Tisbury (508-693-2842) are offering support to anyone who is struggling with isolation or needs help with errands or grocery shopping. The Island Food Pantry is also offering support and looking for volunteers to assist with distributions as well as monetary and food donations.