I walk around our Aquinnah property, clearing debris and limbs of trees half-eaten by ravenous deer. I peruse my modest wine cellar — picked up enough whites and reds this afternoon to get us through the next five to six weeks (two months? three months?, the time we have left?), without having to resort to hard liquor.

I look long at my wife and she seems, wonderfully, more precious than I remembered. I line up the novels and histories I’ve been unintentionally gathering about the house for times like this and I prioritize them. There’s plenty of time ahead, no rush at all.

I’ve been retired on the Vineyard for the past four years, but only now do I feel fully retired. Free of projects, full of hope, yet with the blinders off. The dice are being thrown as I write. How will they land?

I am oddly calm. But will there be a way to sustain this calm as the trouble deepens?

Philip Weinstein