Displaced

Published in Litchfield County Times on Oct. 1, 2010.

The birds don’t know where to go. The typically shy male cardinal and his mate are flitting around my backyard. They even lighted on the deck railing. I wonder if they lost their home in yesterday’s storm. When we lost our home in a house fire, the last line in the story in the newspaper the next day read: The family was displaced for the night. A year and a half later, we moved back home. I sympathize with the birds.

The world looks different to me today. There is more sun coming through the woods because there are less woods today than there were yesterday. Weather changes our landscape and severe weather radically alters our view in a very short time. I am left stunned and amazed by the evidence of such awesome power. I am thankful that we were spared bodily harm. It may have been the prayer of a small boy that saved us.

I will sweep off the deck and clear the branches from the yard. There will be firewood for next year, but no syrup as the limbs have fallen on the sap lines. And perhaps we have lost most of our supply. Upon initial inspection, the uprooted trees appear to be maples.

There is a definite path of destruction though the woods. Hundred mile an hour horizontal winds uprooted clusters of thin but tall trees and violently broke branches off larger ones. All in a line. Like fallen soldiers. A major trunk branch of a giant maple in our backyard bent from its core like string cheese. It will surely die.

A flash of red causes me to lift my head and look outside myself once more. Where will the cardinals go? They will make a new nest in a new tree and hope that they will be spared when the next storm comes.

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