Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hurricane Sandy

 We were ready for hurricane Sandy, whatever that means, really.  Food,water and batteries.  We took a long walk with the dog before the wind and rain began.  Before we would be stuck in the house for days.  

The air was quiet.  I wondered how different the woods would look when I came back again.

We cleaned the house before we were trapped in the dark for days or weeks.  Georgia was in charge of the mudroom.  She does a great job, but you can't try and help her or offer suggestions.  Here she looks like a cleaning ninja focused on her task.

 We never lost power.  The wind was a bit loud and feisty, but nothing more than a usual rainstorm.  The girls hoped for the power to go out, prayed whenever the lights flickered, but still the power persisted.  After cleaning, Georgia set out games and candles and we played bingo in the fake dark.

 As I drove to work Tuesday morning through some small puddles I thought of this Jane Kenyon poem After the Hurricane.
I love this poem but really relished the oddly disappointed line: 

"we didn't get to demonstrate our grit."

 Jane Kenyon
After the Hurricane

I walk the fibrous woodland path to the pond.
Acorns break from the trees, drop
through amber autumn air
which does not stir.  The dog runs way ahead.

I find him snuffling on the shore
among water weeds that detached in the surge;
a broad soft band of rufous pine needles;
a bar of sand, and shards of mica
glinting in the bright but tepid sun.

Here, really, we had only hard rain.
The cell I bought for the lamp
and kettles of water I drew remain
unused.  All day we were restless, drowsy,
and afraid, and finally, let down:
we didn't get to demonstrate our grit.

In the full, still pond the likeness
of golden birch leaves and the light they emit
shines exact.  When the dog sees himself
his hackles rise.  I stir away his trouble
with a stick.

A crow breaks in upon our satisfaction.
we look up to see it lift heavily
from its nest high in the hemlock, and the bough
equivocate in the peculiar light.  It was
the author of Walden, wasn't it,
who made a sacrament of saying no.

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