Today we are given one second more of light than yesterday. Winter Solstice happened shortly after our viewing of the Nativity on the Common last night. Earlier, we shoed on nearby academy grounds. …Conditions continue bad for snowshoeing… like shoeing on white ice. It seems possible to don skates and glide across these grounds and over the snow-icy plank bridge and on, into the woods. On a slope above us, its woods are greatly thinned from last year, and a pile of long-logs stand near, covered in icy white. We look forward to better conditions for the shoeing season, but so far none are predicted.
With Holy Family, angels, wise men, sheep and shepherds, the living Nativity has been displayed each Christmas for 50 years since its beginning by Susan Clement Farrar, in 1964. This wonderful transplant, who made her home here, commissioned the whole community to take part. Sue was a writer and a dancer who opened a studio for local kids to come, to learn dance and performing in the community. She gave much culturally to our small New England town. She was beautiful.
We were both members of a small weekly or biweekly writing group — Sue our only member who was published. Her middle grade Samantha on Stage is a lovely book for girls, encouraging discipline for perfection in one’s craft. Set in rural New York, it plays on “Miss Sue’s” experience traveling to Russia and seeing rehearsals and performances at the famous Bolshoi. Sue had such kindly grace and told a graceful story in Samantha on Stage, which I am now rereading. I thank and remember this gracious soul who encouraged me (a newcomer 30 years ago), in that dimly-lighted used bookstore by snowy fields where writers met to read to one another. The group did not last long, but this Nativity legacy persists and thus our village is the more a kind and friendly place.
Thank you, Sue Farrar. Joy! Joy! Joy to our village, and world!