Irene Calls

Irene is a metaphor for all the churning going on in our heads, all the changes and choices we are daily presented with. Sometimes, it’s difficult to decide what to focus on once homes and communities are restored: storm recovery, high tension wires, genetically modified food, hormones in our milk and meat, mercury in our fish, education, employment, and retirement all jockey for our attention.

 At the same time, storms like Irene energize us. People watched the water soaring high over the Mad River’s Campton Dam, whether on TV or in the crowd standing in full view of the dam. There was an urge to get out and experience that energy. I watched the Pemi rush to expand on either side of the Cross Road Bridge in Thornton, flooding a wide swath of land with rich silt.

 Nature’s housekeeping sometimes seems a bit too thorough, depending on how much it extracts from us in the aftermath and the painful loss of life that is so swift and difficult to understand. People can immediately discount damaged of lost homes or vehicles when, “At least, everyone is OK,” or “No one was hurt.”

 In the calm after the storm, hopefully our relief at surviving the unknowns will bring fresh energy to act on all the ways we can think of to keep each other well. We have a clear, sunny day to begin again.

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