The skies are dark outside Boston tonight. The falling drizzle drives sideways, pushing low-clouds fast across deserted crosswalks. The air is heavy with portents and low barometric pressure. The golden-dark leaves swirl to timely doom, their frenetic fall briefly illuminated by pockets of streetlamps. An unprecedented storm, half hurricane, half nor’easter, and named after my Great-Aunt takes aim at the East Coast like a high caliber bullet: sure to do damage even if the details remain uncertain.
Already, school has been cancelled tomorrow. Daycare and afterschool were the first to throw in the towel. Both HR departments have sent out notes saying we should continue to do all our work, but should do it from home instead of the office. Even the folks who come to clean my house called to say that Wednesday would be better than Monday.
The hatches are battened. The lawn furniture is put away. The basement has gallons of fresh water stocked away. Every one of our multitude of electronic devices is plugged in, getting fully charged. We’ve never lost power here. We’ve definitely never lost water. I don’t think we will this week either, but my. It sure seems like a Big Deal.
I wrote yesterday about the memories imprinted with music. Similarly, there are a few books that belong with events. Chrsistmas with “The Dark is Rising”. Spring with “The Secret Garden”. My very favorite of Madeleine L’Engle’s Time Quartet is A Swiftly Tilting Planet. Meg lies, pregnant, in an attic room in a small New England town while Charles Wallace traverses time and realities. The scene is set in very late autumn, with a post-seasonal hurricane barreling down and a very present threat of the end of the world. Of course, there are also unicorns, Puritans, Celtic warriors, noble natives and a good Civil War reference or two, as any good novel should have.
So if you were wondering “What book should I read during the hurricane?” now you know: A Swiftly Tilting Planet. Maybe I could convince Grey to read it tomorrow, in his day of leisure with school cancelled. Hm. Perhaps.
Grey is intrigued by the hurricane. He has, coincidentally, been studying a lot about hurricanes at school. Here is one of his three book reports on the topic that have made it home so far:
Thane, who did not get out of PJs once on this, the day of his 4th birthday, would like to know if hurricanes are a gift-giving occasion. If so, he would like it to be known that for his birthday he would like “little” Legos. Star Wars. Chop chop. (Don’t worry, I’ll give the four year report soon.)
I am somewhat grateful to the storm for the reprieve from normalcy. I was planning on working from home tomorrow anyway, because I have a very large, very thinky thing that is due on Tuesday for work. But now I get my whole family clustered around me (including, thank heavens, my mother-in-law who will be performing the bulk of the child care). I look forward to cozy, blustry time with my family, since Boston is not likely to get much worse than power-outages. (And even with a power outage and no internet access, I should be able to get my work thingy done. Win!)
So let the winds with their swiftness come, and put a pause on our busy lives for a day or two. May all remain safe, warm and loved throughout the storm.
What are you doing to be ready? Do you like or fear events like this? Do you have particular reading, or music, set aide for while the winds howl?