I sit here tonight with rain pouring down outside. I am waiting for the wind. I have readied the flashlights, filled the water containers, moved the deck furniture inside. Like any good Italian Mom, I spent today cooking. In case of extended power outages, I have a lovely barbecued brisket, potato salad, cole slaw, and enough wine and beer to see us through the stress.
Hurricane Irene, I have been following your every move since you emerged as a tropical depression in the Eastern Caribbean. Honey, I’m ready for you.
The thing is, Irene doesn’t give a damn whether I’m ready or not. And I love her for that!
When Kate and I were on our Assateague vacation in July, I spent a lot of time just gazing out at the sea. And one of the thoughts that struck me the most was that the ocean, in all of her beauty, is supremely indifferent to all of us. Whether we are happy, sad, angry, or confused, the waves will continue to roll in and out, in and out. If the humans on her shores wage war, she won’t change her habits. If we vote for one guy instead of another, the sea will continue to come and go. The tides will rise and fall, the birds will soar and fly and call, the fish will swim in schools. The sun will rise, the rain will fall, the earth will just keep on spinning.
Nature is supremely indifferent to us and to our needs and wants. And that is such a wonderfully liberating thought! It makes me realize that my home equity loan isn’t really a life changing issue. My imperfect ceiling paint? Nothing of any importance! The plaster dust that refuses to ever go away? A trifle!
Irene, in my insignificant, meaningless way, I will watch and admire you as you churn your way up the coast of what we call the United States. I will watch as you fight for control of that ocean that I love so much. You won’t notice me here, hunkered down with my family. You won’t care if I have water, or power or food. You won’t care.
You are, like everything in nature, supremely indifferent to those who feel your effects.
Good for you!