My father was a building contractor. He had a carpenter's level that helped him to know when a surface was "plumb;" that is, true 90 degrees horizontal or vertical – the sine qua non of construction. A strange wind blew through our woods late yesterday afternoon, and ever since, I have been half a bubble off.
Buck and I had been to town and were headed back home when the wind began to pick up. I saw one of our neighbor's yard ducks standing on an overhanging oak tree branch. He looked like he didn't know whether to fly or go hide under the neighbor's porch.
A tangled green cluster of mistletoe blew down the center of the blacktop like tumbleweed, and the tall pines dipped and swayed.
The sun was still shining when the first fat rain drops began to hit the asphalt.We pulled into the porte cochere (known in the vernacular as a carport) and were hit by slantwise rain as we unlocked the front door and shut it before the wind could slam it back like an umbrella turned inside out.
Buck went out to swim, despite the storm. Not me. I felt cold, and wrapped the walls about myself for warmth and comfort as I made dinner: a small plate of raw veggies, braised pork chops, mushrooms and brown rice.
After the brief, intense storm, the sun came out again, and I was entranced by the tall oats, wheat and rye out front. Their seed heads were full of water, heavy with promise. I saw Indigo Buntings feasting on the pale green stalks, grabbed my camera and quietly opened the glass front door.
It hardly seemed possible, but just to the right of this grassy scene, a flamboyant sunset had begun to play out. It grabbed my attention, and I snapped, snapped and snapped.
The storm that blew me into the weeds continued to play out in my head today, making me feel slightly out of round. I had dreams, premonitions and worries. A heaviness formed into a cloud, and I felt responsible for all the losses looming on tomorrow's horizon that I am impotent to prevent.
Tonight, Buck fed me wild honey, and got my small boat back on course.