The Turtle Dove Library
A Beaconite was absolutely floored last week at the outpouring of support for the new Turtle Dove Library. Readers may recall from months ago that plans were getting under way to create a mini community library in Road Town, where everyone would have free access to books. With the support of BVI Red Cross, that dream is becoming a reality. The reporter believes the library has the potential to help empower the community, especially by facilitating a love for reading among young students. This seems particularly important amid the limitations imposed by the pandemic. Within minutes of the official announcement of the project last Thursday, multiple community members reached out to donate books or otherwise help. Projects like this aren’t possible without the support of the community, and the reporter is immensely grateful for it. If enough books are stocked, the library will open in early October. The faster the shelves are filled, the sooner it can open. The library will then be able to schedule some fun educational events, like poetry readings and book signings. Visit the Turtle Dove Library page on Facebook for more details.
A Beaconite spoke this week with a friend who was slapped with a $100 fine under the new rules for mask-wearing in public spaces. The friend claims she was standing apart from others and talking on her phone when she was ticketed near Rite Way Food Market. However, the rules specify that people who are outdoors are required to wear masks only when they are within six feet of other people. The Beaconite wasn’t there with a ruler, but if the account is true, it seems the friend should not have been ticketed. The Beaconite suspects that the police were told to “make an example” of someone and didn’t think through their approach. Her friend insists there were other unmasked people nearby who were not ticketed, and she doesn’t know why, but other friends and online commentators have suggested their own reasons why she was targeted, leading to speculation that it isn’t helpful. It’s true that there is no point in having a mask mandate if it’s not enforced. But if it is enforced, the Beaconite believes that the police should enforce it fairly. Otherwise, the mandate will create resentment and discourage residents from following the rules.
On Monday, a Beaconite observed Yom Kippur, the Jewish day of atonement, which marks the end of the High Holy days. It is a day that calls on one to reflect on their actions of the past year, and repent for everyone they’ve wronged and give thanks for everything in their life that’s gone well. In the Before Times, most of the day was spent in synagogue, singing slow repetitive prayers, sitting and rising as the Torah is taken out of and put back into the ark, before gathering at someone’s home for a hearty meal to break the 25-hour fast. This year, because of The Thing, the Beaconite spent his Yom Kippur alone, singing along to a partially pre-taped service streaming live from a synagogue close to his home in Southern California. The Beaconite was particularly taken by the sermon delivered by the synagogue’s rabbi. The rabbi recounted how, on the day of his wedding, his mother was already growing a tumor in her lung. And only a few weeks after she succumbed to the cancer, his wife learned that she was pregnant. It was a prescient reminder that suffering, and many have suffered during this last year, is as much a part of life as joy. But one always precedes the other.