A few moments with Irene at 1 am

Listening to the rain.
The winds are picking up a bit now. They feel great. But as I saw a soda bottle fly way to fast down the road, I decided it was time to stop my window watching, close up and head to another room with much less of a view. But they are misleadingly weak in comparison to what you would expect from a monster of a storm now above our heads. I've decided to be the night watch. I napped most of the day. And I plan to watch Ms. Irene and see what she plans for us. I am watching because for all those survivors of hurricanes can attest to, the aftermath of the hurricane can be shocking and intense. Landscapes change. Rebuilding means what was may never be again. But I can remember when I visited Jamaica only a few weeks after Hurricane Gilbert in the 80s. I waited to see chaos. Instead, I saw the most beautiful island. The rains made everything grow. Where buildings fell, plants covered them quickly. I knew I was supposed to feel sorrow with all the human constructs misplaced and the human lives lost. But it was remarkably Eden-like. I truly had never and have never seen Jamaica so beautiful again.

I sat on the Coney Island beach and I was a little bit annoyed with all the garbage I was running into. Irene, I think, plans to wash it away. I'm not so worried about the New Yorkers. Toughest set of people that can withstand pretty much anything. Nobody's really fretting too much. Some folks see work and new things ahead with this little storm.  If the little tree I planted in front of the building survives, it's going to be one happy tree to get hurricane rains in the first year of life in its permanent home.
If you survive the hurricane, you may have to rebuild. But the renewal of the earth beneath you is something special. And it is a cleansing. I'll take the beating right now because I plan to survive, rebuild if necessary and enjoy watching the rebirth of things. 


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