Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hurricane Sandy

Like a little child all prepped for a blizzard, I hunkered down Monday, prepared in every way for Hurricane Sandy. But despite some 15-mile-an-hour gusts of wind, nothing much happened until after sunset.

Then the wind picked up and gusts hit perhaps 30 m.p.h., not enough to cause concern. By bedtime, it blew in earnest, but still not yet enough to create alarm. And like the little child waiting for that big snowstorm that would cause school cancellation the next day, I harbored something akin to hopeful anticipation for hurricane winds and torrential rains.

Don’t get me wrong…I was hoping and praying that the worst of Sandy would bypass Mid-Coast Maine and my prayers were answered. But still, that feeling of unfilled expectation lingered. Just admitting this helps to get a certain feeling of guilt off my chest. And now I think I have a slight inkling of the thing that possesses extreme athletes to risk life and limb, that pushes race car drivers to the fullest measure and that causes people to do any number of otherwise irrational and probably stupid things.

Looking danger in the face and coming out the other side unscathed does something for the psyche. It probably even provokes beneficial chemical changes in our bodies. So when we go to bed thinking that the biggest storm in 200 years is about to swoop down upon us only to wake up to complete serenity, something in our innermost beings looks out at the world and says, simply, “humph.” 

At noontime Tuesday, the day after “Frankenstorm,” the sun broke through the overcast and shone upon my little cabin in Waldo, Maine. Dragonflies swooped about, darting here and there, picking some unidentified insects from the air. The rain from the previous night, what there was of it, had obviously benefited my Swiss chard, since it stood thick and green.

Meanwhile, I must now pour out all that water I had stored up in a dozen different containers. And the oil lamps will go back into storage, as will candles and lanterns.

Am I pleased and grateful that we were spared the big hit? Absolutely. But somewhere deep down, that little child begrudges having to get up and go to school.

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