The same stream of life that runs through my veins night and day runs through the world and dances in rhythmic measures. It is the same life that shoots in joy through the dust of the earth in numberless blades of grass and breaks into tumultuous waves of leaves and flowers.
~ Rabindranath Tagore
Storms moved through just after midnight last night. The lightning was impressive, a disco strobe light effect dancing across the sky and landscape. The thunder was equally impressive with its accompanying chorus of rumbling, cracking, crackling, booming, crashing, and rolling. Wind and rain lashed at the house, and sleep was hard to come by with all the ruckus going on outside.
This is the time of year when we really need to keep an eye on the weather. Hurricane Irma, currently being described by the National Hurricane Center as a “potentially catastrophic category 5 hurricane,” is churning around in the Atlantic. Tropical storms Jose and Katia are whirling around out there, too. Jose is slated to achieve hurricane status soon. Katia is highly unlikely to have an effect on us here on the Eastern Shore. It remains to be seen what will happen with Irma and Jose.
I have friends in Florida who are currently planning to ride out the storm. I honestly don’t know how people can do it. I don’t have the courage to do such a thing. I saw an interview with a man from Port Arthur, Texas, who described Harvey as “three hours of hell, followed by an hour of calm, followed by three hours of hell.” I would imagine that those six hours of hell felt a lot longer than six hours.
On the other hand, there is the issue of pets. Abandoning them during a storm must be a heart-wrenching decision. M and I have been talking about what we will do with Izzy and Bella, our furry family members (cats), if we should decide to evacuate. They were so traumatized by the move from Ohio to Maryland that I am not sure they would respond well to even a temporary change of shelter. Izzy, especially, would not take it well. She stopped eating and drinking when we moved here, and it took a lot of enticing to keep her from committing slow suicide. Bella’s response to the move was delayed, but she eventually weirded out on us, too.
Another decision, non-weather related, we have to make is about the meadows and the conservation agreement we have that covers those areas of the property. It is up for renewal this year and the U.S. department that handles such things has changed the rules a bit. We’re now being asked to do more extensive work on the meadows, essentially clearing them and replanting with grasses. I think large grass-filled meadows are beautiful, but I’m not sure it will work here. Their reasoning is that this will create a buffer to help keep the Chesapeake Bay cleaner. Grasslands also provide good habitats for some of the critters that either live here year-round or temporarily. M and I will have to decide what we wish to do with the area, and we’ve only been given a week to make that decision. We could agree to do all the work and renew the contract, or we might look into letting it turn into forest. The trees, you see, are the problem. If we wish to renew the contract, all woody plants (trees and myrtles) would have to go. Even after mowing the meadows bare, the trees insist on coming back. The sweet gum trees, in particular, are prolific. So are the loblolly pines and myrtles. If we allowed Mother Nature to take over, it would be a forest in no time.
If I happened to be a religious person, the kind who believed in the End Times, I might well wonder if that’s where we are now. Between the fires in the western U.S. and the hurricanes in the south, ICBM’s with nuclear warheads being bandied about as a form of saber rattling, and a man who seems well suited to play the role of the Antichrist sitting in the highest seat in this land, it sure does seem like things might either be going to hell or getting ready to call it quits. I read a horoscope the other day — a generalized one not directed towards any particular sign — that mentioned the negativity in the news with a reminder that this is not our reality. Well, I thought, whose reality is it? And why am I living in it?
Just like with a hurricane, I am sheltering in place lately. Hunkering down, remembering what is important, and placing my energy there. I’ve been writing some variation on this theme almost every week since the last election, and nothing has really changed. I am, like many people, struggling with balance. I may be wrong but it appears to me that there is too much information in the world, and much of it is skewed towards the negative. That is not a new observation, either.
After the Women’s March in January of this year, they had A Day Without A Woman (on March 8th which is International Women’s Day). What I would like to see is A Day Without the Internet, a time in which everyone throughout the world shut off all of their devices and found something else to do, something uplifting, positive, helpful. It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture. It could be something as simple as a positive, uplifting, and helpful day of self-care for those who already give of themselves. Maybe after that, we’d all take a day each month, or perhaps each week, to unplug. Instead of using social media, we’d actually talk with each other, or write letters or cards of thanks for friendship, for love, for support, to say hello, or create something beautiful, or start a movement geared towards peace, or read a book, listen to music, dance, sing, learn a new language, visit a museum, or get outside and see how amazing and wondrous nature can be.
That is my dream of the moment. What is yours?
In other news… A dear friend is coming to visit this weekend. I am very much looking forward to spending time with her. As of this writing, the weather is looking good. We have storms moving through later this evening that will usher in some cool and dry air so it should be quite pleasant. Hopefully the weekend won’t be overshadowed by Irma and decisions about whether to stay or go.
That’s about it from the Wabi-Sabi Ranch and from me on this crazy-weather Wednesday. Thank you so much for visiting and rambling around the ranch with me. As you might have noticed, signs of autumn are showing up here and there and just about everywhere. I don’t think we’ll see much of a sunset this evening (because of the storms), but in case it looks like we’ll get a peek at it, I’ll meet you at the Point. Sunset is scheduled for 7:27 PM. I’ll be there early, as usual, unless (of course) it’s storming already. Even so, I might show up just to watch the waves.
Be good, be kind, be loving. Just Be. 🙂 And for my friends in Florida — please stay safe.
A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy: 271) It is deer central around here, and I’m enjoying watching the antics of the young ones as they chase rabbits and scare themselves silly when they almost run into a bush or a clump of grass. 272) Morning dew shimmering in the early morning sunlight. 273) A walk in the woods early this morning. 274) The sound of woodpeckers knocking on the trees. 275) The tree (a dead loblolly pine) that fell down in the woods during last night’s storm did not fall on the dock, but on the path.