“PAX”– WHEN STORM IS NORM
A single vulture wildly wheels past my study window. We are in the midst of worsening onslaughts of our latest named storm, ironically titled “Pax”. If vultures rise and ride the winds, this may mean we are in a mid-day hiatus, for which I am profoundly grateful.
I deal with ordeals by journaling, by day and by night. This post is a constellation of journal entries, as snow wraps us yet again in worry and wonder.
What Storm Pax has accomplished in my yard is the near disappearance of a table and two chairs. Because of snow mounded high on chair seats, I can no longer see the metal table top. The storm before this amazed me as snow hats on table and chairs grew to the hight of my father’s Knox hat boxes on the front-hall-closet shelf. Pax-snow on top of Knox snow is simply astonishing.
Maybe the climate is trying to teach those of us who have ruined it — be astonished. And act to end catastrophic climate change.
“My back is up” because of a Weather Channel pundit. After after showing us, in Atlanta, a ruined historic building [– ice had vanquished its roof, which fell, taking several walls with it –], she blithely blamed this destruction upon Mother Nature. I turned it off in a huff, convinced that they are ordered to do so.
It’s not Mother Nature, folks, it is we who are ruining climate and planet.
As a poet, I am among the first to see beauty in snow. As someone who works (four days a week at D&R Greenway Land Trust to save the New Jersey part of the planet), I am almost brutally aware of snow’s perils. Even as one who avidly skiied, who survived and even thrived throughout Michigan and Minnesota winters, I recoil before these severities.
Everyone should. Everyone should wake up.
What is oddest about Snowstorm Pax (mispronounced by experts who seem not to get irony of Pax’s meaning — peace) is that these ceaseless flakes fall upon and stick to to snows from yesterdays. Meaning that snow no longer melts between storms.
Deciduous trees in this forest are striped more relentlessly than skunks. Upper branches are Pax-clotted. Even though these trees are now swaying with mid-day winds, they do not divest themselves of vertical stripes. Only one pine tree, –the largest–, shivered and shuddered and shrugged off its snow burdens. All our other evergreens are white, never green.
Beneath the snowed table is a hollow, this storm’s lair. On various shoveling-excursions, I hear the storm changing its tune. Mutters lead on to snarls, then growls.
I experience “Pax” as a wild beast, shaking all of us in its maw, feverish glints in narrowed eyes. The beast begins to spit – as snow itself becomes audible, almost crackling, it sticks like white chewing gum to vertical walls of this house.
In the night, I could watch snow change form by porchlight. It went from cascades of table salt to Wondra flour. Then, suddenly, flakes and clumps. It became impossible to see into the forest. What began to fall seemed like powdered sugar sifted by a mad cook, unsing a sifters with squeezable handle. Over and over. Faster and faster.
Visibility became myth, something vaguely remembered.
Snow increasingly stuck to the house walls, like hundreds like hundreds of cottonballs glued there by some mad craftsperson.
Snow became Lux flakes, torn doilies.
It landed on my head with uncomfortable clumps, clots in my hair, dripping down onto my shoulders and neck, making me shiver like the large pine.
I am reading “Saving Italy” by Robert Edsle, author of “Monuments Men.” I’m slogging through northern Italy, near the end of the war, hunting for Nazi caches of the most legendary art of civilisation. Throughout this book and these storms, I feel under siege — blitzkrieg without air raid sirens. We become victims and refugees. Some die. Historic buildings collapse.
Now my front door is a mosaic of water droplets. I decide they are the tears of the Planet.
Petrochemical excess is the reason for our ceaseless storms, and those of Asia, and of Europe and the overflowing rivers of Britain. Face it, everyone.
The Weather Channel’s ascribing these terrors to Mother Nature is like the tobacco industry using doctors to promote smoking, –turning everyone’s heads away from cancer of the lungs and cancer of the bladder – their enormous secret.
We are causing cancer of the climate. Wake up! Turn this around. Now
We are not meant to live in a world where Storm is the Norm.
Deer Tries to Feed in Storm