While I was away there was another “storm of the century”—the third, by my count, since this century has begun.
I was overjoyed to have been safely away when it happened; my neighbors, hearty New Englanders all, report cowering in their beds without electricity or heat, listening to gale-force winds and the CRACK! of huge evergreens dropping with the regularity of metronomes throughout the night.
The arborists are still so overworked that they are doing emergency service only—“emergency” as in “a gaping hole in your roof.” My tree doesn’t quite qualify, since my house is intact, but only by a fraction of an inch.
The thousands of broken branches that littered every inch of the front, side, and back yards have mostly been cleared away. And it’s an extraordinarily beautiful day today, seventy and sunny and June-like, making the fallen tree seem like the relatively minor noncrisis that it is.
I have a fence on the side of the backyard, a rickety thing that doesn’t do a bit of good keeping anything in or out but serves as a sort of rustic scenic boundary marker. After the storm, it lay littered on the ground, covered with tree limbs and debris, and looking for all the world as though it were irreparably broken.
But no. It turns out that the fence’s design allows it to disassemble itself at the first hint of trouble, the posts leaping out of their holes in the ground and the rails jumping out of their nests in those poles. And then, like a tinker toy, it can be easily reassembled when the storm is over and ends up looking as good as new. Or, that is, as good as old:
There’s some sort of moral to the story, I know. It’s not Frost’s “Good fences make good neighbors,” but something about flexibility and rigidity, and the ability of the former to bounce back from adversity whereas the latter would break.
And hey, the crocuses are out.