Saturday, August 27, 2011

Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay

The dock at my Nana and Pop-pop's shore house.

Of course I am going to talk about the impending hurricane set to make its way on the East Coast. How could I not? I have never seen people so freaked out in my entire 23 years of life. Well most people - unless of course you are my brother. Who didn't even know there was a hurricane coming. Did I mention he is almost 21 years old? And in college? And is very intelligent? Yeah... I don't know either. Let's just call it "denial" and "minimisation" (hey, hey Freud!) Because this is the same guy who had a massive phobia of natural disasters as a kid. (I know he isn't reading this so I don't even need to apologize for the embaressment I might soon cause him.) One of my favorite stories of him is when he visited a colonial-era house for a school field trip in kindergarten. My mom was a chaperone so was thankfully a witness to preserve the story for all of history. When the tour guide asked if anyone had any questions (you know, about churning butter and the revolutionary war) my brother raised his little arm and said:

"Did they have floods back then?"

Actually, good question, bud. Did they? I mean I'm sure they did but it seems like Mother Nature has been particularly kind of pissed at us lately. But can you blame her? I think that Mother Nature is trying to tell us something and my guess is that it might have to do with one or maybe all of the following:

1. It's time to slow down.
2. It's time focus on what truly matters (*hint: it isn't external, tangible or on a computer screen.)
3. It's time to just be.
4. It's time to get in touch with ourselves, our families, our loved ones.
5. It's time for us to start respecting and appreciating Mother Nature a little more. I can picture Mother Nature looking a lot like Aretha Franklin and saying R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means to me!

But in all seriousness I truly hope that Irene's, that is the name of this hurricane, powerful hurling energy goes UP into the solar system or someplace where it can get dried up by the sun and some meteor dust. I pray there is no devastation. I pray everything turns out OK for all of us. I especially pray that my Nana and Pop-pop's shore house will be safe and sound. The house is the most tangible manifestation of my Nana, who recently passed on, that my family has left. The house was her sanctuary. I truly believe that wherever my Nana is right now, she is probably making some negotiations with Irene about this one. She might even be sending swarms of angels to blanket the house and surround it like a big, warm hug.

The dock in the picture above is the dock at her house and it has provided me with over thousands of sun-soaked memories as a child. To this day, I have no fonder memories than the ones I made on that dock playing in the bay with my siblings and cousins - pretending I was a mermaid, drying off on the hot wood planks in the sun, cannon-balls, back-dives, diving contests, searching for clams in the muck at low-tide, putting on water-ballet shows and "commercials," watching the tide move in and out as the bulk-heads went from stubby to tall, watching the dock ramp move from horizontal to practically vertical, using kitchen tongs to pry the crabs off the bulkheads so that we could "play" with them (read: torture them), spending endless hours jumping into the water and climbing up the wooden ladder (and pulling down eachother's bathing suit bottoms as the person before you climbed up), swatting greenheads and yelling "greenie!" a hundred times a day, finding minnows, spotting the occasional snapping turtle, watching seagulls dive-bomb for fish and for the most breath-taking memory to date  - spotting a magnificent and mysterious long clear needlefish with strings of electric blue on its insides slithering in and out of the serene, deep green water.  The memories that dock has soaked into its wooden planks and barnacled onto its underbelly are the highlights of my life. I pray that dock and all the creatures (those with feet and no feet!) weather the storm.

Stay dry :) ...and for your listening pleasure,

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