Our children are our most precious gifts, whether we are parents or not. As the mother of just one lovely son on the brink of manhood, I always feel an instant kinship that I am sure is mutual with people I encounter who share that they, too, have only one. I don’t mean to imply that the parents of a multitude love their individual children less. It’s just that those of us who were blessed this way only once experience our parenthood differently … I think. There is a poignant vulnerability to having our hearts invested in our one and only that’s sort of like carrying all of our eggs in one basket. In any case, whatever the size of our brood, there is no greater joy than the one felt from the happy success of our children in any of their endeavors, large or small.These sentiments came shining through in an email I received pre-Thanksgiving from the proud parents of Ian Czekala, Joe and Barbara Czekala. A singleton child, Ian and his family moved to the Springs when he was seven years old. Like a typical well-rounded Bonacker youth, he grew up enjoying ocean swimming at Indian Wells, kayaking in Accabonac Harbor, and sailing on Gardiner’s Bay. “We love Springs,” wrote Ian’s dad. “Viewing the heavens on Gerard Drive is something we have done together as a family since he was a little boy.”
Under their loving influence, Ian grew up to be an astronomer, and is a 4th year Ph.D. candidate in astrophysics at Harvard. Now, that’s impressive! Ian had drafted a paragraph for his parents to forward to me, reporting on the Comet Ison. “From the far reaches of our solar system, Comet Ison has been hurtling toward the Sun for the past 200,000 years,” wrote Ian. “Its date with destiny is Thanksgiving Day, November 28, when it will make its closest approach to the sun before being sling-shotted by the sun’s gravity to the dark recesses of its origin. While the comet has been visible in the early morning sky for the past few months, it is uncertain whether or not it will survive the encounter with the sun.” Ian went on to describe the comet itself, and predicted that we may be able to witness it with our naked eye in the early morning hours, most preferably over bodies of water toward the north or northeast, such as Accabonac Harbor.
Alas, I was disappointed that this exciting cosmic news came to me too late to make our early holiday deadline for the column. I imagined a once in a lifetime opportunity missed for masses of Springs residents to gather together predawn on Thanksgiving Day on the edge of the harbor peering upward, hoping to behold this marvel. However, oftentimes fate knows best, because in a follow-up correspondence with Ian he updated: “Our attempts to catch a glimpse were actually foiled by some clouds, but I’ve heard from some friends that did, that it was pretty cool, but not nearly as bright as expected.” He went on to explain, ”From an astronomical perspective, Thanksgiving was a bit morbid—the comet may have disintegrated in its close passage near the sun.” So, he does not recommend that Springs residents bundle up to go out into the early morning cold this time. For a “cool graphic,” though, Ian suggests we check out http://earthsky.org/space/big-sun-diving-comet-ison-might-be-spectacular-in-2013. Both he and his dad are members of the Montauk Observatory, and Ian says that there’s a lot of exciting stuff going on, astronomy-wise, on the East End that can be experienced through this observatory. Ian promises to let us know the next time something big is happening in the sky. Lucky us, to have our own Springs astronomer! Thanks to Joe and Barbara for sharing the joy of your special only child with us … and thanks to Ian for keeping us updated on our spectacular heavens!
Ashawagh Hall will be the venue for the 3nd annual Friends Bazaar on Saturday, December 7, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. This one-day-only event features art and fine crafts within reach. Here you will find something for everyone, from handmade ceramics, jewelry, paintings, photography, cards, accessories, soaps and lotions to ornaments, sachets, and a whole lot more. It’s the perfect opportunity to gather special holiday gifts and stocking stuffers without breaking the bank. Admission is free.
Then, to end the weekend on an extra special note, be sure to join in the festivity as community members gather together to witness the “miracle of lights” on the green of Ashawagh Hall this Sunday at 5 p.m. for the wonderful “Lights of Love” event that raises money for the SIS Scholarship Fund. All the loved ones in whose names donations were made in the form of ordering commemorative tree and menorah lights will be listed inside the hall, where hot chocolate, cider, and holiday cookies will be served. An old-fashioned holiday sing-a-long rounds out the fun in this event that encapsulates the true meaning of the holiday season.
Another holiday sing-a-long was enjoyed last Sunday at the Springs Presbyterian Church joint potluck dinner that included the Church of the Nazarene, and the First Presbyterian Church of Amagansett. Still awaiting the future of a new fellowship hall, the latter two churches appreciate the gracious, generous spirit of this little church’s congregation and the Reverend Tony Larsen. Unfortunately, my cold lingered on, so I was not in attendance.
Back to our children, a whole bunch of Springs parents must be awfully proud. Prior to the Thanksgiving break, Spirit Meet celebrated the Springs members of the East Hampton Middle School’s football team. Not since 1972, has this team had an undefeated year. Wow! Congratulations to Coach Scott Abrams, student coach Noah Lappin, and the rest of the Springs team members: Steven Mancera, Miguel Perez, Danny McDonough, Danny Guiterrez, Jacen Tuthill, Mitchell Hallock, Henry Talmage, Kevin Eras, Matthew Maya, Matthew Gonzalez, Callum Hoepfner, August Gladstone, and Riley Duchemin.
Without a doubt, our children bring us great joy … and all the rest is always forgiven. Mine is turning 21 years old this Saturday, December 7. Happy Birthday to Brendan Manning! XO to him and to all of you!