Hurricane Sandy proper is making her way toward the southern shore of New Jersey, and here’s me in the north central part of the state, sitting and looking at the overgrown highbush blueberry outside the window. It has a couple hundred yellow-to-cherry red leaves left on its long, slim, twiggy branches. A gust comes around the corner of the house, the branches quiver and tangle and bow over slightly before the impact of air – whoa, big one just now, major shaking! – and the elliptical leaves, still disinclined to leave their parent, flicker horizontally, beautiful color against the backgound scenery of the woodsy backyard across the street, dim in this hurricanish light.
Out another window is the dense thicket of giant bamboo our late father planted about 20 years ago, when he was interested in Oriental gardening esthetics. He used to thin it rigorously, but not much in his latter years, and I’m pathetic at that kind of thing. The biggest canes are taller than the second story windows now. The least breeze gets a pliable, graceful answer from bamboo, but these tempestuous gusts create a fabulous chaos of deeply swaying stems and tossing, flashing foliage! It’s a great plant (or plants), I have exasperated admiration for it. It’s a life force before which I can only genuflect in respect.
I wish I could only worry about the world in this way. Tempest, rain, earth, leaf, snow. Branch and stone and feather and fur, and tiny (comparatively) things like the very small mosquito species that has shown up in the last mild week or 2. If I never had to look at, consider, or even conceive of, another dollar bill, that would be ok with me. You hear about things like the locovore “movement”, and the groups of small towns in Greece that are issuing their own currency as a way around the national economic disaster. Movements to smallness, face-contact, local knowledge, local strength, away from corporatism and remote controls that no one really knows how to operate. And I think, “Good. Keep going! Let’s see some barter!”