The howling wind has ceased. The breaking waves in the river have subsided. Stars are out. Tideland EMC has the power turned on. Lucky – my skittish dog who has sat in my lap all day as Michael blew through – has finally been outside to do his business. All is right with the world.
Following Florence, Tom fixed screens on our front porch. Folly. They wave in the breeze tonight. The pile of debris all stacked neatly near the garage after Florence clean up is now scattered again down the road. Folly.
The lights went our here just before dark. I still had time to get out the lanterns and flashlights. Of course this pastor had candles and matches – just in case worship broke out. Actually it did.
I chose not to get out for Happy Time or dinner with my daughter. The wind was just too scary. Rather, I chose to sit with my candles and play my piano, a piano that sat in my office for years, a piano that has not been tuned since I bought it from Nancy Stagner. I could hear the flat in my ears, but I heard the melody in my heart. It is well. It is well with my soul. Amazing Grace. Then to the Christmas tunes. Silent Night. And of course, Frosty the Snowman.
Peanut Butter was my supper by candlelight tonight. Crunchy. JIF. I didn’t want to open the fridge in case electricity was out for a long time. Then I went out on the front porch. Wind was blowing water out of the river. The sand was smooth and the water rippled, worn out after a fierce day. I prayed at the now screen-less opening in the porch. I prayed for all who suffered in this storm and in the storm just past, Florence. I prayed for all the people who suffered in Florence and Michael and the G, H, I, J, K, and L storms that somebody endured.
I stood thinking about the awesome power of creation, and the benevolence of the Creator who brings out the stars after the storm to remind us that God is with us. Recovery will be hard; adaptation will be needed. Faith in a future with hope is the most necessary thing we need. Science needs no more evidence than what we have seen with our own eyes in the past few years that change is upon us.
Jesus’s parable about the wise man and the foolish man speaks to us today. Tom and I have built a house on the sand. It stands tonight, battered and bruised as a consequence and casualty of nature. Cambelot, our precious home on the Neuse River, is folly that is ours to ponder.