The rush of energy and awe that returns each spring as the light of day extends and the world awakens is one of my favorite shared experiences. That almost imperceptible nod we in New England give each other as winter shifts toward spring. No matter the season, I unwind by making time to walk each day. Heading down the road, away from my house, I can feel the concerns of the day fall away a bit as I pass the water, notice the dirt my feet kick up, and take in the trees that line my path.
We live in an unbelievably beautiful area and I often wish I had the words to do it justice. I’ve never tried my hand at poetry, but I am thankful for those who do. And I’m thrilled to kick off National Poetry Month by telling you about the Skidompha Virtual Poetry Group that has been meeting every Friday morning since last April.
The Skidompha Poetry Group meets on Fridays at 10 a.m. over Zoom. The chosen purpose of the group is to start the day in a lovely way, to gather with others who love poetry — listening to poetry, exploring new poems and poets, sharing old favorites. Some members of the group come to listen, some come ready to share a poem they’ve discovered or love, and some read a poem of their own into the space.
Facilitated by Skidompha staffer Jeannette Eaton, the group has been going strong for about a year now. Jeannette, who counts this group among the highlights of her week, deftly cultivates a warm and welcoming space for sharing and engaging, and regular attendees enjoy a real feeling of delight and connection, despite the distance of the last year.
One member, a self-disclosed non-group person, shared that “I come every week because I just can’t help myself. I enjoy it.”
Another expressed gratitude for the group, saying, “When I manage to get here, everything feels lighter and it always makes me happy.”
The members of our poetry group have decided to honor National Poetry Month this year by spreading favorite poems around town, and including them in our newsletter and website. Throughout April they will be printing out poetry and leaving them with local businesses and organizations that are willing to have a pile of poetry to share.
I am so grateful for the energy and interest this group offers each other and I am excited to see what they will share with our community this month.
While I have not yet found the words to craft my own response to spring’s arrival, I will happily share this poem with you from our poetry group:
By Billy Collins
If ever there were a spring day so perfect,
so uplifted by a warm intermittent breeze
that it made you want to throw
open all the windows in the house
and unlatch the door to the canary’s cage,
indeed, rip the little door from its jamb,
a day when the cool brick paths
and the garden bursting with peonies
seemed so etched in sunlight
that you felt like taking
a hammer to the glass paperweight
on the living room end table,
releasing the inhabitants
from their snow-covered cottage
so they could walk out,
holding hands and squinting
into this larger dome of blue and white,
well, today is just that kind of day.
Virtual book group
The book discussion for “Ernie’s Ark” by Monica Wood will take place online at 10 a.m. on Monday, April 12. To join, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Virtual Chats with Champions
The next Chats with Champions will feature author Dee Dauphinee at 10 a.m., Monday, April 12. Dauphinee is the author of “When You Find My Body: The Disappearance of Geraldine Largay on the Appalachian Trail.” The book is about Gerry, known by the trail name Inchworm, who vanished in July 2013 while hiking in remote western Maine.
To join the online Chat, which will be held via Zoom, go to skidompha.org to sign up. Those attending will be emailed a Zoom link prior to the event.
Virtual cooking class
Skidompha will host a virtual cooking class with Chef Mikael Andersson at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, April 19. Andersson left Sweden in his early 20s, has worked in eateries all over the world, and is now the head chef at Lincoln Academy. He will lead the teens in making delicious crepes with homemade whipped cream and blueberry quick jam.
This class has 10 spots for participants ages 12-19. To sign up, email Sophie at email@example.com, call 563-5513, or stop by the library.
Virtual jewelry-making class
Skidompha will host a virtual jewelry making class with ABOCA Beads and Jewelry in Damariscotta at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 20. Participants can pick up a bracelet kit at Skidompha the week before class. This kit will include everything needed to complete a leather and bead bracelet and a how-to jewelry making book. During the virtual class, ABOCA Beads will walk participants through all of the steps to make the bracelet.
This class has 7 spots for participants ages 12-19. To sign up, email Sophie at firstname.lastname@example.org, call 563-5513, or stop by the library.
Live virtual storytime for kids is 10 a.m., Mondays on Facebook Live in the Youth Services Facebook Group.
Mindfulness meditation group meets at 10 a.m. Tuesdays and 7:30 p.m. Thursdays. Email Jeannette at email@example.com to join.
Virtual poetry group meets 10 a.m., Fridays. Join to share or just to listen. For more information or to register, please Jeannette at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Skidompha Library has been supporting our community since 1885 in downtown Damariscotta. You can find us online and view our full calendar at skidompha.org.)