Looking for something to do on Friday night? You can sit on a blanket in a high meadow, sharing blueberries while you’re waiting for a new play to begin. You can dance to live bluegrass and African blues.

By the Way Berkshires has a free weekly newsletter with a roundup of events and new stories and places we are discovering. It comes out by the end of the day on Wednesdays, so you’ll see it in your inbox on Thursday mornings.

This is a rich place, even in deep winter. Even in a pandemic. I’ve lived here 20 years, and I find new places and people every day. Doors are open when you know where to look. Let me show you some of the ones that stand out to me.

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A hand holds out an open book in evening light.
Photo by by Ivan Radic

BTW Newsletters

If you’d like to see some of our newsletters, you can find them on the home page with our weekly stories, or take a look at the whole library in our newsletter archive … or check out a few below.

newsletter archive
Ice is skimming over the water where the Ashuwillticook rail Trail runs along Cheshire Lake.
Ashuwilticook Rail Trail / Photo by Kate Abbott

The center can hold

Tonight while a mob is attacking government buildings, while I am sitting safe by the fire at the foot of a mountain in a town where I know college students have been threatened a mile away and somehow stood tall and gone on, I am reading Danusha Lameris’ poems for the first time.

“… We have so little of each other, now. So far
from tribe and fire. Only these brief moments of exchange.
What if they are the true dwelling of the holy …”

January 7, 2021 The center can hold
Pine Cobble shows a long view on a cold, clear day.
Photo by Kate Abbott

Clear skies ahead

Breathe in — we have time. It seems to slow down when the year is turning, just for a moment or two. A few weeks ago I was walking with a friend at night, wandering into back corners of town I’d never seen before, and she asked me what holiday rituals look like for me.

It was a cold, clear evening, and the buildings by the old railroad station stood high up, like barns on independent towers — grain siloes from the days when you could take a train from here all the way to the coast? We thought we saw a young bobcat disappear into the scrub near the railroad tracks. …

December 30, 2020 Clear skies ahead
A holiday candle burns in a red globe beside winterberry.
Photo by by Francesco Crippa

Wishing you light and peace in the winter holidays

Holidays are here. We’re on the eve of evergreen and firelight, when many of us (in the Northern half of the globe) take a deep breath at the beginning of winter. A lot of us need the rest, right now. This is a year when things that once seemed simple have become rare.

Last weekend I sat on a bench in the snow at Berkshire Theatre Group, watching an outdoor performance set in the Depression. An eight-year-old boy and a cousin who was mother and grandmother to him were saving pennies all year so that on one winter day they could make fruit cakes. …

December 23, 2020 Wishing you light and peace in the winter holidays