The spirited clicking of cicada tymbals was so loud when I opened the door this morning, and the rush of hot air that greeted me so intense, I almost shut and locked the door and decided to stay in. But I didn’t. Instead, I walked down to the gate and was rewarded for my effort by the site of does leaping across the road, two owls hunkered on a branch in the stream bed, small branches laden with green acorns strewn across the gravel road, and a fat water moccasin in the road near the gate. I hung back until the snake decided which way he was going. The gate was bowed out even further than it had been from being hit by a runaway red car several months ago. A true hurricane would probably have knocked it loose and carried it away. The little blow and heavy rains from the past three days have just warped it into a permanent u-shape.
Yesterday on my way back from an appointment in town, I got sucked into the vortex of a massive convoy of electric service bucket trucks on I-10. They were really ballin’ the jack, on their way to Mississippi and Louisiana. It was a noisy energetic net. I felt like I wasn’t even driving my car, but was being carried along at 75 miles per hour on the float of their power and urgency. I had to consciously break out of the buzzing hive to make my exit for home.
Late Tuesday night by the time I finished reading Jesmyn Ward’s Salvage the Bones, I was almost hyperventilating. We had nothing more to worry about than the inconvenience of the possibility of power going out or a tree falling across the road. But reading about the main character, Esch, a fourteen-year-old girl, and her family’s dire straights down in Bois Sauvage, Louisiana during Katrina, my mouth was dry and I sat on the edge of the bed reading late into the night until the final chapter.