Thanksgiving has come and gone and we have fallen into December. It is difficult for me to believe that the year is already winding down. It seems that time is moving along faster than I am able to keep up with, like a treadmill set at a speed that is slightly too fast to maintain. I imagine even the slower months of winter will pass quickly, as one day folds into the next and we watch the seasons unwind. Before we know it, the days will begin to stretch again, light will hold on further into the afternoon and spring will come knocking once more. But for now we are solidly into the dark days; make sure you get outside for some fresh air and sunlight on the brighter ones.

Lately, I have been enjoying regular afternoon walks down to Quommax where the small loop trail provides a sweeping view of Norton Point. I often bring a mug of tea and sit on the bench at the top of the loop to enjoy the last few moments of sunlight over the water. It has been so wet lately that small ponds have formed in the dirt road down to Quommax, creating a challenge for those of us walking with strollers or small, fastidious dogs who do not like to get their paws wet.

At each crater, my pup looks up at me as if to gauge how serious I am about getting across to the other side. When I assure him I have no intention of turning around, he sighs and picks his way delicately along the wood’s edge. I follow, pushing the stroller through the shallowest side of the puddle, and using the handle as a balance to get to the other side.

I hardly ever see anyone else on these walks, even as we cross the main road at Blow Your Bugle Corner. If a car does pass, though, the driver almost always offers a wave or a nod.

Quommax, along with other swaths of Land Bank land on Chappy, is closed to walkers for shotgun season until this Saturday, Dec. 8. Primitive firearms season will follow until Dec. 31, so do not pack away your blaze orange just yet. You can find which properties are open to hunting on the Land Bank website.

In less than two weeks my little one, Juna, will be turning one. I love that her birthday, which arrives a week before Christmas, will always be marked by light and cheer; it is a joyous time of year to be born. I have powerful memories of last year’s Christmas tree (a spindly and gawky one harvested from our yard and decorated with big, colorful bulbs) filling our living room with a warm, steady glow as I labored in the lofted bedroom upstairs.

A few days later, as we were preparing to leave the hospital with our new baby girl, we took a snapshot in front of the Christmas tree in the maternity department’s atrium. The hospital has polaroids of all the babies born there going back to the 1980s. Our family photo, the three of us smiling in front of that tree, was added to the archives, perhaps for Juna to come across with her own baby someday.

It is incredible all that a little one can accomplish in a year. Juna has grown two teeth, learned to go from basically immobile to crawling and now to walking a few, jerky steps at a time. She has mastered a few first words (“Bird!” “Dog!” “Bye!”) and repeats them often and enthusiastically. She has likes and dislikes and expresses her opinions loudly and clearly. When I think of all she has learned in a year, and how little I have learned in comparison, I am in awe. What a wonder!

Margaret Knight tells me there will be a holiday tea at the Community Center this Sunday, Dec. 9 from 3 to 5 p.m. High tea will be served with tea sandwiches, savories, sweets and tea in fine china cups. Come and sit in front of the fire and enjoy the festive season with your Chappy neighbors.

If you are looking for more Chappy cheer, the Trustees will be hosting a Mytoi Garden illumination this Friday, Saturday and Sunday night (Dec. 7-9) from 5 to 7 p.m. They will provide a shuttle from the ferry on the half hour during that time. Come see the Japanese garden filled with light and enjoy hot drinks, snacks and a small fire.

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