The new year passed by almost unnoticed by me. I babysat my granddaughter, had hot buttered popcorn and a beer after she went to bed and watched Sense and Sensibility. A light snow fell here in Boston last night and in Hyampom, rain for days has moved the Big Slide again--the snazzy fix by the cocksure Thunder Mountain employee did not hold. There are more slides further on and the pass over the mountain closed, so my neighbors are marooned, relying on generators for power, and email the only access to the outside since the phones are out, power is out, and the closed road prevents the power company from getting in to fix it.
One of those times that the phrase "close to nature" takes on new and vivid meaning. The creeks roar carrying rock and sediment from above and occasionally you hear a rumble building into thunder and the ground shudders as some huge piece of land comes loose and boulders the size of cars roll down the mountain, trees crash down smashing all the growth around them. You understand how small your body is, how little you control you have when the force of nature shows some of its power. There is an adjustment in perspective. The agenda becomes staying warm, staying fed, staying alive, saving what you can. It gets very simple. You feel gratitude at the end of a day in which you have succeeded in the simple task of keeping alive and well and you are cleansed of your jaded expectations of what life is supposed to do for you. There is, surprise, relief that life is so simple and so meaningful.