Daddy's Christmas Angel

Friday, August 26, 2011

Do We Own the Land? Fire, Earthquake, and Hurricane

This has been quite a week in Virginia. I returned home with plans for doing a lot of write in between attending teacher workshops and meetings. We were met with a smoky haze and the news from a nearby neighbor that the previous week one day she couldn't see our house from her window because of the smoke. That smoke is coming from an uncontrolled fire in the Great Dismal Swamp located in southeastern Virginia. If the wind shifts in the right direction, we get the smoke. The smoke is not pleasant.

Then, earlier this week, as I stood in my art studio, some gigantic animal raced back and forth across our roof. I stared at the skylights, certain they would shatter at any moment. My husband was in another upstairs room and thought a large helicopter was landing on the roof. He also watched trees and the building sway during the commotion. All the while, in my studio, the angel wind chimes played a magical tune. Of course, since they hang against the indoor wall as decoration, I had never before heard them play. It all turned out to be a 5.8 earthquake. The only earthquake I'd felt before was a small shaking in California a few years ago. The skylights didn't break, but I had a funny, unsettling feeling for the remainder of the day.

"Remnants of a Storm"
Now, here comes Hurricane Irene, and we are right in its path. In 2003, Isabel dealt our community a terrible blow as hurricane winds blew directly up our three rivers at high tide. Many people living on the point of the peninsula where our town is located lost their homes or suffered severe damage to them. Our house is on higher ground, but I recall looking out the window at the height of the storm to see the Mattaponi River and West Point Creek united into one vast body of raging water. We lost many trees during that storm, including a tall oak and most of the fruit trees nurtured in our orchard. One tree, located close to our house, blew down but fell away in the opposite direction blocking a street.

What is going on? I wonder. Do we really own the land? Nature has control; we do not. Sometimes we need to remember that. Sometimes like now.

Just joined the Campaigner Challenge. Paying forward. I like the concept.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Monti, hope Irene loses steam before it hits you. We're inland, but still getting rain and serious wind.

Monti said...

Thanks, Alex. If you're inland and getting "serious wind" that's worrisome for our prospects! Stay safe!