…while we wait for the power to return, and get accustomed to the empty spaces in our back-yard sky. We are so grateful that home and people and creatures are all fine. But, oh! How strange it is to see all the green (now brown) leaves on the ground, to have our view so altered, to know we will soon have to say good-bye to all three of the trees that have graced our lives and yard for the twenty years we have been here.

The hardest bit will be when our sons come home from their travels and college to see their “swing” tree for the first time since the hurricane. Sigh. I know these things happen. But right now I am thinking of the earliest days when we rocked our baby Caleb in the cosy swing there, and the jungle gym that was tucked under its branches for so many years, the many al fresco meals shared in its shade and the rope over the tire that still swings a young man from time to time. But now there are more broken limbs than not and all of the trees are damaged and dangerous.

 Eventually, we will be able to plant new trees and begin again. That will be good. My husband has been an absolute hero, keeping Mom and I safe and happy. That included working many, many hours each day after the storm sawing up and removing every huge limb and small branch so the yard could get back to some semblance of peace-for my mom’s sake. Tho’ we were able to shield her from most of the hurricane’s noise and disturbance while it was here, its aftermath has been harder to hide.

Have you ever read the definition of “biding one’s time”? It is to “wait quietly for a good opportunity to do something”. That nicely describes our days…washing dishes and taking showers when the generator is on to give us water…sweeping, cooking on the camp-stove, reading, hanging wash on the line during the long, quiet middle of the day hours…writing emails (and blog posts!) during the evening generator-time…talking and laughing and buoying each others spirits often.
 I will be quite ready for the power to come back on. Power outages are not what they used to be here. Change is hard for Mom…she can’t go with the flow anymore. Lots of reassurance is needed. The hardest part is having to sleep on the sofa just outside my mom’s bedroom each night. I miss my bed and my husband. But without a monitor, I have to be within ear’s hearing of her trying to turn on her light…walking around in the dark…worrying. We are working on getting some new technology to help with that, as the electricity goes out fairly often. Until then, when the generator goes off at night, you will find me on the sofa with candles lit and a flashlight balanced on my shoulder as I read myself to sleep. In those moments before my eyes close I think of all the others dealing with much harder circumstances than my own since the hurricane…and friends and family…and all the ups and downs and bends in the road life can take.

Thinking of you. Thank you for thinking of me. Sending you light and hoping the candles last as long as they need to.