Monday, June 12th, 2006 • 3 Comments on Calm Before the Storm
There is a storm brewing outside (and the first tropical storm of the season is brewing off the coast of Cuba). The sky has been bright with lightning flashes for the past hour, thunder rumbling low and steady, rattling the windows and startling the dog. It’s not quite summer yet, but there’s a summer thunderstorm coming.
It’s funny how life ebbs and flows in a series of calms and storms. A few days ago I told someone that you never know when something will be the “last.” The last time you see someone, go somewhere, experience something. When Hurricane Isabel came through Virginia three years ago, I didn’t know it would be the last time so many of the trees behind my house would still be standing. I mourn those trees every winter when the remaining trees drop their leaves and the underbrush dies back, revealing all the trees that came down during that storm.
We have been talking about moving. Not out-of-state, like every other move we’ve made in the past decade and a half, but locally, to a new house in a different neighborhood. As enticing as the idea is at times, I don’t know if I want to move and go through the “lasts”—last cookout, last party, last night in our old house. It’s silly, but I’m sentimental about such things. I don’t like “lasts.” Unless it’s the “last” of a bad experience, and I’ve had a few of those. I didn’t know my last conversation (fight) with my mother in November 1997 would be a “last,” but it’s been nearly nine years since I’ve spoken to her, so perhaps it was.
The storm is gathering strength, I can practically feel the change in the air. It won’t be the last storm of the season, though I hope Isabel was the last hurricane I’ll have to experience for a long, long time. This won’t be the last time I write something that isn’t quite what I would like it to be. Just like it won’t be the last time I think about “lasts” and how, most of the time, I don’t like them and, most of the time, I don’t know they’re a “last” until they’ve already happened. Which is worse—knowing a “last” is coming and having a chance to commemorate it properly or not knowing until after the fact that it was the “last” and mourning something that is already gone?
Too bad there isn’t Doppler radar for life, hmm?