I hear a loon call from across Crescent Lake. The trees are very still. Some lean toward each other as if deep in conversation. A few stand forever erect and never grow tired.
Hurricane Irene is on her way. Yesterday, I helped my family gather chairs and other objects that could be damaged or blown away, secure a boat, pick ripe red peppers, shop for provisions, fasten doors and windows while the world held its breath. Can animals and trees sense a storm coming? Irene will lash at branches and tear away leaves from nests. She will topple the undergrowth and stir up dead remains from last year’s squalls. The trees will twist and turn, like the few stalwart people I’ve met who know how to bend when confronted with head-on conflict. They take the blows, like the most courageous of nonviolent activists resigned to raised truncheons, enduring what comes with unfathomable courage. In the end, Irene the bully will be forced to move on, though she will topple a few in her wake.
Would trees run for cover if they had the choice? Perhaps since they’ve been obliged to remain rooted to one spot throughout their long existence, they have no choice but to simply recieve what is offered. The trees outside my window are thriving. Molded and shaped by both sunshine and storms, they represent more than endurance. I see patience and, in most, an ability to bend without breaking. Through them I see life, each moment, each opportunity, each challenge, fully lived.