The visitation


The day after the funeral for my niece Meghan, I was busying myself planting petunias in the pots that I hang from my back deck every spring. I needed a ladder to reach one of the higher pots, and when I lifted the pot off its hook, a bird flew out. I immediately recognized it as a mourning dove.

I wondered why this bird was camped out in this hanging pot. Then I looked inside and saw that she was protecting a nest with two little white eggs. I quickly returned the hanging pot to its hook and moved away, hoping she would return.

I then heard the telltale whistling sound of her wings as she landed first on my neighbor’s roof and then on the roof of my house. I decided to leave the yard and go inside so she would feel safe to return to her nest, which I’m happy to say she did moments later.

I was struck by the significance of this close encounter with a mourning dove at a time when my family was mourning the sudden passing of my young niece. So, I went online and found its meaning to be far more profound than anything I could have imagined.

“The dove’s appearance to someone in mourning is often viewed as a visitation from the deceased loved one. The person in mourning senses a message of hope or encouragement from their deceased loved one. Others believe the mourning dove is a messenger sent by angels, spirit guides, or even God.
“To a Christian, the mourning dove may symbolize as a reminder of the promise of Jesus the Christ of life everlasting. The dove is sent to those in sorrow over the loss of a loved one as a way to say, the deceased has a new beginning in a different realm or world and continues to live after death.
“Others believe it is a message from their deceased loved one reminding them to hold on to hope and not fear death. This message declares that death is just a new beginning. Still, other people take the soft cooing song of the mourning dove as a sign their loved one is watching over them and sending them the powerful energy of love.”

I feel honored and humbled to have this visitation, which seems all the more significant due to its intimate and extended nature. This was no casual encounter, but an up close and personal visit by an angel who, after flying away, quickly returned to continue providing her warm, nurturing care.

Serious question: Are all educational gurus Marxists?

Or is it just random luck that we keep finding them to guide curriculum development and teaching practice in Wakefield Public Schools?

We’ll get to the latest example in a moment, but first a quick review.
Continue reading ‘School Book Report’

We care a lot


COVID may be over, but we still face an even more dangerous epidemic: complacency.

We saw it a few weeks ago, when a whopping 18 percent of Wakefield’s eligible voters supported building a new $274 million high school. It passed anyway because 75 percent of the town’s registered voters either didn’t know or didn’t care enough cast a ballot.

It turns out, that was just the tip of the iceberg of indifference. The belated opposition to the Northeast Metro Tech building project presents an even more disturbing example.
Continue reading ‘We care a lot’

Last Saturday’s Special Election, which saw 18 percent of the voters give 100 percent of Wakefield homeowners a hefty tax increase, brought back a hazy memory from about 40 years ago.

As a member of the Board of Assessors in the 1980s, Paul Faler was a fierce advocate for residential taxpayers. As I recall it, Paul narrowly lost re-election one year, and the next year he ran again in an attempt to return to the Board.

At a Wakefield League of Women Voters candidates’ night, he was asked, if he lost a second time, would he run again the following year as the taxpayers’ voice. Paul smiled at the question.

“At some point,” he said, “people have to save themselves.”
Continue reading ‘The price of apathy’

[From the Thursday, March 9, 2023 Wakefield Daily Item]

WAKEFIELD — The “Yes for WMHS” campaign raised over $12,000 to fund its advocacy for the new Wakefield Memorial High School building project, although nearly one-quarter of the total amount raised came from one individual.

In campaign finance reports filed with the Town Clerk, the Committee reported raising $7,657 between July 15, 2022 and Dec. 31, 2022. A subsequent filing on March 3 reported another $5,220 raised between Jan. 1, 2023 and Feb. 23, 2023, for a total of $12,877.
Continue reading ‘‘Yes for WMHS’ raised $12,877’

Watching two school building projects unfold virtually side by side in time and space has provided a unique window into what happens when environmental and educational activism collide at the local level.
Continue reading ‘Schools of thought’

The plan to get you out of your single-family home and private vehicle is proceeding apace as we forge ahead toward our collective future.

The latest phase in this great leap forward has been promulgated by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, which is in the process of forcing it on local cities and towns with MBTA service, like Wakefield.
Continue reading ‘All aboard the Equity Express!’

There were few surprises at last Saturday’s Special Town Meeting, other than the fact that the start was delayed 45 minutes to allow several hundred people to stroll in fashionably late.

Who could have known that this much-anticipated and highly promoted Special Town Meeting would attract such a crowd? And you can hardly blame people for not knowing about the check-in process when they’ve never been to a Town Meeting before.

You mean we can’t just sashay in and sit down?
Continue reading ‘Meeting expectations’



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