Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Ode to the West Wind. DuJuan Typhoon Taiwan

 “O wild West Wind, thou breath of Autumn’s being,
Thou, from whose unseen presence the leaves dead
Are driven, like ghosts from an enchanter fleeing.”  -Ode to West Wind, Shelley

Laying by the window last night listening to the typhoon wind howl and screech through every locked crack and sealed crevice of the house.  Blistering, screaming wind.  Once again I’d moved all the balcony furniture inside, and how could I sleep when the metal barbecue is sliding across the floor towards panes of glass, we are on the 23rd floor after all, I just keep thinking… this is it.  Truly, a harrowing night.
 “Yellow, and black, and pale, and hectic red,
Pestilence-stricken multitudes: O thou,
Who chariotest to their dark wintry bed.”  -Ode to West Wind, Shelley

This current typhoon, Dujuan, (No, it’s not named after a black athlete) was not as powerful as the previous, Soudelor, (No, not named after a Persian rug company) but still packed a punch.  
 “The wingèd seeds, where they lie cold and low,
Each like a corpse within its grave, until
Thine azure sister of the Spring shall blow.”  -Ode to West Wind, Shelley

It was a national holiday and we had groups of friends come over in the early hours of the typhoon to eat and drink and marvel at the wind.  Such immense wind.  We all went onto the rooftop to try and stand in the pounding breezes, which was laughable.  Leaning forward, up high over the city, with no shelter to brace, no shield to fend off the force, feeling the power of nature around you.  It was quite a task just to open the door against the pounding gales.
 “Wild Spirit, which art moving everywhere;
Destroyer and Preserver; hear, O hear!”  -Ode to West Wind, Shelley

We stood there looking down over our little city.  As tree branches snapped and huge cement pillars crumbled and electronic signs fizzled and tumbled into the air, it’s as if all thoughts are blown away and the mind empties.  It’s like when you’re a child and you don’t like the roll of the dice so you flip the board game over.  Little Monopoly pieces of green hotels and question mark Chance cards and colorful paper bills soaring across the living room.  Is that what Mother Nature does, hit the reset button?
“The trumpet of a prophecy! O Wind,
If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?”  -Ode to West Wind, Shelley

Awaking the next morning, (Yes, I finally did sleep) and stepping outside to the remains of  downed power lines and scattered telephone poles, the streets littered with severed tree limbs, the mind becomes active again with gratitude.  You’ve passed through something.  A season.  It’s only been one night, but you feel a hundred years older.

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