wind advisory for a tree

Gather your flashlights, candles, batteries, blankets.
Gather your bottles of wine, bottles of pills, push bottles away from windows.

Find enough water to fill your bathtub.

Stay away from your windows.
Stay away from the water.
Stay away from the wires blowing, pulling, sparking.

Publicize all your photos.
Illuminate your suffering.
Compare life to an apocalypse.

As we stay inside our various-sized homes during a hurricane, many of us worry over very different things.

Some may be fearful over losing electricity, internet, the ability to watch the neon haunt of their television screen.

Some may be worried for their babies, children, dogs too fearful to pee outside in this.

There are those that are worried over their property, flooded basements, drowned cars, inability to get to their manicure appointment in the morning.

On day two (or three, if you count the prepping of fear), what I worry about is a tree. The one outside my window with roots of burnt brown and tips of red, green, orange, yellow. Branches so skinny, you could not imagine enough power to withstand this wind. And yet…and yet….there may be strength found even in the gaunt.

Last night, I watched the wind gain power. 30 mph towards 40 and 50. In some areas, it reached 80 miles per hour. This tree, too grandiose to be named, blew closer to my window. There were moments I felt I could touch it, had I opened my window. Had I ignored the rules to leave everything closed and locked.

It bent and swayed. Some leaves were pulled off. Some drowned in the flooding below. Some leapt toward the green fence below and survived the water.

I can locate with my eyes a long branch reaching in various directions. It did not survive. At least twelve people in New York did not survive this. More than fifty homes in New York did not survive this. What does it mean to survive this?

As I write, I watch the sky exchange color palette of grey white white to blue white blue. Clouds are pressed firmly against each other and dancing toward another direction. Who is leading? Cumulo-nimbus or cirro-stratus? And now the blue is getting upstaged by the grey and the wind bullies the tree, pressing it toward the ground. The wind wants the steal this tree’s lunch money. The wind wants to pickpocket wallets out of homes. This wind cannot be trusted.

What does it mean to survive all this?