Monday, August 29, 2011

Hurricane Irene

Hurricane Irene has come and gone. It rained for 20 hours, beginning and ending with a couple of hours of mist.

I was kayaking on the Connecticut River looking for migrating nighthawks (none) for an hour before the rain started on Saturday evening. The confluence of the West River and the Connecticut was extremely low, with the put-in place being a slender, shallow channel through mud flats.

All the boats had disappeared from their docks. During the last heavy rains, 3 years ago, all the boats and docks floated down to the dam, 10 miles downriver.

By noon on Sunday, the rivers were over their banks and the barren docks were breaking up and floating away one by one. Streams were also out of their banks and flooding the floodplains. Woe to people who had homes or businesses in low-lying areas.

The treetops waved wildly for about 10 minutes, and i thought my eastern casement windows (closed but not locked) might rip off their hinges and fly away.

The electricity went out, as we knew it would, but for only 3 hours.

Rain and winds sweep through our lives. Two weeks ago, a writing friend learned she had liver cancer. She died a few days later.

At noon yesterday, the rivers looked more solid than liquid, with trees, branches, debris, and docks floating away.

Our earth-ly bodies also float away, down the river of life.

A raindrop dies into a puddle, into a trickle, into a stream.

We die, the ego dies, into the ocean of impersonal space that surrounds us.

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