Saturday, November 10, 2012

A mid-November reprieve

Two weeks after Hurricane Sandy and a few days after a nor’easter, my husband and I sit on the picnic table at Fogland State Beach.

“Most of us have inner barometers; certainly I do,” wrote New England author Gladys Taber in “Country Chronicle.” “During an autumn storm mine is very low. My movements slow, and I have a tendency to sit by the fire and just wait for the rain to stop even if what I had planned to do, does not involve going outdoors. I listen to the wind, and I think melancholy thoughts. A three-day nor’easter induces me to disbelieve in the blue of the sky above the black clouds.”

Bundled in a wool coat and boots, I am comfortable in the bright sunshine, light wind and forty-something temperatures. The Sakonnet has gotten over its temper tantrum and now at low tide is as tranquil as a freshwater pond rippling gently in the breeze.

It is so peaceful here.

Looking back over these last few weeks, I think we are all in need of a well-deserved break.

Along with the wild weather, we had to weather the presidential election, which wore us out.

 “I just wish our elections had more dignity,” wrote Taber in her 1967 book “Stillmeadow Calendar.” After all, it isn’t the party with the most balloons and buttons, the loudest cheering sections and biggest signs at conventions that may provide responsible government. I think we should educate children from the first grade on to have more interest in political affairs. And our whole system of electing a president should be studied and changed, if necessary, so that elections can take place in a practical, economical manner.”

Forty-five years later, the American voter has been bombarded with over $6 billion worth of robocalls, Super PAC TV ads, and political cards stuffed in mailboxes, and we are exhausted.

No matter whether our candidates won or not, we breathe a collective sigh of relief that it is over.

We drive along Neck Road and Seapowet Avenue, stopping every once and a while to watch animals grazing: horses wrapped in blankets, wooly sheep wearing winter coats and a lone burro in his pen.

A flock of Canada geese congregate in a sheltered duck pond. Common residents of southern New England, the pale gray geese have long black necks and a large white chinstrap. Most often sighted overhead flying in a V-pattern and making a honking sound, the waterfowl are content to drift soundlessly on secluded waters.

Over the past few weeks, these stately and majestic birds have battled hurricane-force winds, heavy rains and freezing temperatures just like us. But today they rest.

We should too.







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