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Shelter Island Reporter editorial: Enduring and inspirational

Spring for Shelter Island means many things — a real sense of summer on the wing (even if some weeks feel like an endless November) with the return of the piping plovers happily dashing across beaches, joined by those great fish hawks, the ospreys, riding the winds above our heads.

Along with the first daffodils nodding in the breezes and the bright bursts of forsythia glowing against the gray landscape, comes the Shelter Island School play, one of the most enduring and inspirational signs of the season.

The production by the Shelter Island School Drama Club is more than a night out to be part of laughter, song and dance — and it’s that in spades — but an event that brings the community together to celebrate life, youth and the arts.

It’s also a time for young people on a small island, along with dedicated adults, to spend free time coming together to work on a project from beginning to end.

This beloved annual community event was once again a smashing success, with the production of the musical “Matilda” playing to full houses. The production sparked conversations in offices, shops and at the post offices about the hilarious, brilliantly produced and acted production.

Delayed, like almost everything else in our lives, by the pandemic, “Matilda” came out shining, as fresh and welcome as a spring morning of sunshine.

Congratulations to the students who participated with verve and talent, and to all those behind the scenes. But special congratulations and thanks go out from us here at the Reporter to the driving forces, John and Anu Kaasik.

We’re fortunate to have the Kaasiks and their team to provide such first rate entertainment for Island audiences.

More importantly, they have given their young cast and crew guidance and a sense of accomplishment. That achievement comes only through cooperation and hard work.

The Kaasiks are invaluable members of our community who haven’t forgotten that young people need more than a basic curriculum to learn how to live.

They have given them an experience, a lesson learned, that will remain in these students’ memories and hearts for the rest of their lives.