Monday, September 8, 2008

After the Storm by Barbara Quinn

They were battening down the hatches Saturday all over Monmouth County, NJ. Tropical storm Hanna passed through the area with high winds and waves. She wasn’t anywhere near the force of what she was when she hit the states to the south of us, but she still posed a threat. In the morning, things were calm and you never would have known that a storm was on the way, other than the charge of apprehension in the air. People were on edge, not sure how bad the winds would be, how large the storm surge would be.

And so we engaged in the calming familiar routines. We removed our porch furniture, found the battery powered lantern, went out for some food and other supplies. At the fish market the customers asked “So when is it going to hit? How bad do you think we’ll get hit?” The market’s owner shrugged his shoulders. “Who knows. All I know is I was out yesterday fishing and it was like glass out there. No boats. Absolutely gorgeous.”

And he was right. The ocean was a tranquil beast yesterday, with no hint of the fury she would soon unleash. Geez. The ocean is bi-polar.

The market owner, a fisherman, told us how he had caught two Blue Marlins yesterday and how rare it was to do that. They took pictures and released them in all their shiny glory. Lucky marlins. He told us that fishermen don’t kill blue marlins, and will walk out of restaurants that have Marlin on the menu.

And so the Marlins got to jump high again, unlike the unlucky Swordfish and Tuna whose lot it is to fill our tummies. I’m grateful for all of them, and for the calming camaraderie before the storm. We’re a lot like those Marlins, hoping not to be hooked, enjoying the calm waters, fighting our way through the rough. It’s good to wake up to a sunny day and still be swimming.


Kathryn Magendie said...

A Bi-polar ocean! *smiling*

It's funny, but this morning I was thinking how beautiful it's been here, perfect weather, so I forget all this turmoil going on elsewhere -- we didn't get any of Hannah, since we're in the western part of the state.

Angie Ledbetter said...

Glad you got a pass on Hannah. We're watching old mean Ike real close now.

Terri Tiffany said...

Amen on watching the storms pass and breathing a deep sigh. Ike is going to miss us I think!

Patresa Hartman said...

What an interesting fact! That fisherman don't keep blue marlins. Why is that? I am completely attached to this newly learned detail.

And love the idea of people like blue marlins.

Ami said...

There's this moment right after a storm passes that I think is the most beautifully calm and peaceful moment you can experience, if you're ready and waiting for it.

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