Denial in Green

10 May, 2009


It’s Sunday at 530am. You would not believe the steps I just took in order to have a cup of coffee. I don’t know how long my laptop battery can last and I’m not sure the next time I’ll be able to find an internet signal, but there isn’t enough light to do much else but think, so, I write.

The sky opened up a couple days ago and tried to swallow my hometown. Have I told you about all the beautiful, old (OLD) trees on all our properties? Yeah… They’re gone now. All my information has come from neighbors and friends, I base the likelihood of truth on the numbers of times I hear it repeated- barring, except, the repeated claims we will have power within the week- cause that? Ain’t happening.

I wish I had bought a blackberry, candles, a fire pit, gasoline, and batteries when I had the chance… although now that I think about it, everyone tells me the big stores brought in generators, because really, who doesn’t want to go shopping when you can’t get the car out of the driveway…

I was walking to my grandparent’s house- formally called Oakland- and saw, on the corner of a house a spray-painted cardboard sign reading “BOIL WATER ORDER”, which, in it’s minimalist statement, suggests the apocalypse may soon be over.

You always find out, in these life shifting moments, who your real friends are and just how much people can accomplish when the other option is sharing the living room with a soon-to-be-dead 100 year old oaktree. Do you have any idea how many things lived in that tree? Me either, but I pulled dozens of broken, shaking bodies from the refuse and set them next to a wood pile. I watched a raccoon fall from a tree, seize, climb back up the tree, then fall again to a dramatic and sickening thud. I filmed a tree, perfectly healthy, be ripped from its roots and fall, only to realize that while I was focused on one tree, nearly every other tree I have ever loved was crashing as well. I’m not angry yet, I’m not sad. I feel sick, and not just from drinking too much either (although I’ve done that too).

You might have been scanning this for news of the wedding- I’ll tell you when I know. I’m going to decide where we’ll have it, now that the sound of chainsaws, generators and ripping wood has replaced the sound of sirens and gas pumping our of my meter. I haven’t seen a squirrel since the sky tried to eat us, but the migrating birds are still here. I’m watching two male Rose-breasted Grosbeaks and one female eat the feeder right now. They barely let me get the sunflower seed in the feeders before they began foraging- I imagine this is how it feels to set a nourishing dinner on the table and have your kids eat every bite with pleasure.

power’s almost gone- I’ll write more later when I find a generator and a signal.


3 Responses to “Denial in Green”

  1. Pare Says:

    OMG, honey, I had NO IDEA this was happening.

    I am so sorry for everything. I am sending prayers and love to you and D and your family.

    Let me know you’re okay, soon.

  2. Good Lord. I’m so sorry.

  3. smoothpebble Says:

    Thinking of you Lea, and hoping for the best and quickest recovery from all of this! When we had a devastating ice storm and several tornadoes in the are it was the trees, the trees that made me want to cry. Sending you all love and hugs!
    You’re right about setting a meal in front of your kids and watching them devour it – happens every day here!

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