Update: Water Grant; Eclipsed by Clouds
Celebrating the Winter Solstice.
Water conservation grant closer to fruition
On Dec. 8, the state Department of Environmental Protection notified Concord Public Works, that our application for a grant was favorably received. Concord was one 47 communities that applied for the water conservation grant, and one of 25 to receive a favorable recommendation from the state.
If accepted, the grant could be valued up to $30,000. Members of the CPW will meet with members of the DEP to work out specific details of the grant. If all is approved, the CPW will announce the grant appropriations early next year.
Solstice at the Calf Pasture
Well, I was on my snowy deck just before 3 a.m. yesterday to see this amazing total eclipse of the moon, which according to NASA, is the first time in 372 years that such a celestial event will coincide with the winter solstice.
Guess what I saw. Clouds and snow flurries; nothing to write home about, or even in this Patch column. What a disappointment. But maybe if I eat right and exercise regularly, I'll be around in 372 years to witness the next one. Let's hope for clear skies.
So guess what I did do yesterday. Just before six o'clock p.m., I bundled up and headed over to the Old Calf Pasture off Lowell Road to participate in the Musketaquid Winter Solstice Celebration. I have wanted for years to attend, but for whatever reasons (family, work, life, etc.), I never made it. Well, last night I did.
I parked near the bridge on Lowell Road, then saw a snowy trail illuminated by candles near the river bank. As I followed the path, the traffic sounds of Lowell Road were slowly replaced with the wind blowing through the trees, and the strumming of an acoustic guitar and harmonized singing in the distance. The full moon shone brightly above. Further along the path, I saw a gathering of about 100 people of all ages around a bonfire.
I joined the group as they were singing along in a song with animal sounds. The shortest day of the year, which was yesterday, is also acknowledged by the woodland creatures and river fish.
It was quite an evening. Orange sparks sprang from the fire as members of the Musketaquid celebration sang and recited poetry. We were encouraged to toss a bittersweet twig into the fire along with an emotional event we'd like to leave behind. After I flung my second twig into the flames, (my first one missed the fire and I didn't want to take any chances,) I ran into Alice and Bill Lehmann. While chatting with them, I heard a woman say, "Is that Maureen?"
There was Lisa Shapiro, who I became so close with in 1987, when we each rented an apartment in the same brownstone in Brookline. Lisa and I had not seen each other in nearly 20 years. Who knows how we lost touch. She recognized my voice. Bill took this photo of us. That's Lisa in a borrowed hat on the left.
Lisa and I were so excited to see each other that we forgot about the sacred event and were asked by other gatherers there to "Quiet down!" We stepped away and caught up a bit. (She's doing great!) What a thrill.
The whole evening was really something else. The next solstice celebration is June 21. There is no charge, parking is free and it is quite an experience, so mark it down on your calendar. You never know whom you may run into.
Do you have something you'd like to share with your fellow Concordians? Contact me and I will make sure they know. email@example.com.