We’ve been hearing about Sandy for a week, seen satellite images of this thing swirling across eight hundred miles, its tentacles swiping into land—where we happen to live, less than a half mile from Long Island Sound. But that is only a projection. For now it is still hundreds of miles off shore.
Behemoths move slowly, this one at fifteen miles an hour. It plods, takes its time.
Our task is to wait. The trees are swaying, the roof trusses groan. The cats are pacing in front of the sliding glass door. A moment ago the power failed, then surged back. Time to fill the bathtub with water.
We have already moved the deck furniture into the living room. I needed something to tie the gas grill to the deck railing. I had no rope, so I got a heavy outdoor extension cord, the one I use for Christmas lights, and lashed it around four times. Yesterday we put four gallon ziplock bags of water in the freezer. When the power goes out the extra ice will keep the food cold a little longer, and when it melts we have drinking water. We have two flashlights charged, ready. We always have plenty of old candles. I have moved firewood into the garage. We have even ground some coffee beans. If we can boil water (we have a gas range), we can make java.
Now all we can do is wait.
I wish it would just come and be done. Do its worst against our best. But it hovers out there, makes us wait.
In The Hero’s Journey, Joseph Campbell says that heroism may happen in an instant, but it’s a long time coming. If you want to follow in the way of heroes and heroines, Campbell says, all you can do is prepare and be ready when the moment comes.
It may well take something heroic to withstand the onslaught of hurricane Sandy, and we have all done everything we can do. We are prepared, ready.
Still, I hate this waiting.