It was a gray, wet and chilly day last week when I came upon a quote by Anton Chekhov: “People don’t notice whether it’s winter or summer when they’re happy.”
Its perfection made me smile.
But despite celebrations of love, black history and two presidents’ birthdays, for me February has always been an odd, transitional time of year: Last year’s holidays are memories; this year’s just-made resolutions are already waning; short winter days begin and end in the dark; and spring feels months away.
So I decided to take a Chekhovian approach to finding joy in the Napa Valley during this shortest month of the year. I knew my personal happiness would necessitate two acts, mutually inclusive: getting out of the house (being social), and experiencing new arts–related activities (being present).
To my delight, I’m discovering a wealth of options, choices and possibilities that satisfy both requisites. I’ll share a few:
— Jarvis Conservatory presents its first Classical Arts Film Festival, Feb. 11–13, with each day/night’s screenings focusing on different subject matter within the genre: American arts companies and the state of an “ailing classical music world”; dancers and musicians; a composer spotlight; the world of opera; and a choreographer block. Jarvis is a perfect venue for watching films. For tickets and information, visit jarvisconservatory.com/classicalfilmfestival.
— A 36-year tenure teaching at Napa High has prepared Henry Michalski well for moderating/facilitating weekly “Senior Seminars,” now held Fridays in Napa and St. Helena (with Yountville on the horizon). Around the table, groups of 15-18 informed, engaged and articulate lifelong learners discuss local headlines of the week, national and international newsworthy topics plus other matters of interest brought to the table. “The group seems to be working,” said Michalski. “People are happy to be there, connecting, making friends, having something to study for and look forward to every Friday morning.” For information, email Michalski at email@example.com.
— “Silo’s Got Talent,” a new competition boasting a $500 top cash prize, is open to everyone (age 15 and over) who wants to try their luck on the club’s stage. Comedians, jugglers, ukulele players, poets, thespians, monologists, singers, musicians and other creative “artistes” (in groups of four or fewer) are invited to showcase their talents in the hope of moving into the finals (Saturday, May 14). For details plus application, visit SilosNapa.com.
— Turn your world upside down in classes taught by Wine Country Aerials (WCA), where, if you’re new to using aerial silks, skilled teachers will help you build strength and mobility over a four-session course. (In theory, it looks like fun!). WCA is also presenting and performing in “A Love Story,” Saturday, Feb. 13, at 5 and 8 p.m. at the Napa Valley Museum and featuring Fire Dancing by Firefleye, World Beat Dance Collective, Bleeding Heart Belly Dance, Hoop Dancing by Elsa Seal and music by Billy Seal of Opulent Temple. For information and tickets, visit anapavalleylovestory.eventbrite.com.
Now that February is almost half over, I don’t know how I’ll get everything I want to do this month into my schedule. Rain or shine, I’m really happy about that!