What does it take to surprise you with pleasure? (#this weekend)

An accordion player started to play Quebeçois reels, the kind of music I learned to play at fiddle jams 15 years ago, the kind of music I can play even when I can’t tell you the name of a tune.

Bees were humming in the tall purple spindrift of salvia. I was holding on to a few minutes on a work day, to come to Caretaker Farm on the first afternoon of their summer CSA, and the pollinator garden was in full blow, even before the herb garden has really gotten rooted.

I was sitting in the wooden swing chair surrounded by flowers, at the top of the hill. It’s early in the growing year, and the young greens are starting to come up in the fields. Amber chickens were ranging around the coop. The wooden slatted seat back was high enough to lean my head against it.

And then music … someone picked up a squeezebox and sat down in the barn door and simply started playing. It’s a high lirruping tune — this kind of music feels humorous to me, inviting like someone on the dance floor coming over, blown and breathless, to offer a hand to someone sitting along the wall.

Sometimes the world gives you something, even in a small way, even on a day when you’re overwhemed and scared for people you love, when summer’s coming in.

This weekend …

This week has kept on surprising me with colors. Here are glimpses of the bright cloth in Amy Yoes’ Hot Corners at Mass MoCA, the sculpture on the hill at PS21 at dusk, and the Quaker meetinghouse at the Maple Street Cemetery in Adams …

Events coming up …

Find more art and performance, outdoors and food in the BTW events calendar.

Asparagus and rhubarb glimmer early in the season at the Lenox Farmers Market.
Apr 19 2024 @ 6:00 pm
Rachel Portnoy will lead a workshop on demystifying plant-based ingredients and recipes, resulting in incredible flavor combinations to taste and explore.
Vocalist, guitarist and songwriter Joanne Shaw Taylor shows why she has become one of the hottest live acts on the modern Blues scene. Press photo courtesy of the Mahaiwe
Apr 19 2024 @ 8:00 pm
Vocalist, guitarist and songwriter Joanne Shaw Taylor shows why she has become one of the hottest live acts on the modern Blues scene, in a night of soul and blues-rock.
Golden and magenta beets catch the sun at the Williamstown Farmers Market.
Apr 20 2024 @ 9:00 am
Williamstown Farmers Market opens a new Winter Farmers Market with Hexagon bagels, winter vegetables, eggs, cheeses, locally raised meats, maple syrup, artisans and more.

By the Way Berkshires is a digital magazine exploring creative life and community — art and performance, food and the outdoors — and I’m writing it for you, with local voices, because I’ve gotten to know this rich part of the world as a writer and journalist, and I want to share it with you.

If you’d like to see the website grow, you can join me for a few dollars a month, enough for a cup of coffee and a cider doughnut. Members get access to extra stories and multimedia, itineraries a bookmark tool. Let me know what you're looking for, and we’ll explore together.

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