Friday, September 12, 2008
Outer Bands and Inner Peace After the Storm
My daughter wants me to go with her tonight to hear a band play at Bamboo Willie's. It's a popular watering hole on the Pensacola Beach boardwalk, on the Sound side, of course. This picture was taken last week when the water was smooth and easy on the eyes. Today, there are coastal flood warnings and small craft advisories posted for the Gulf Coast. I am not sure I want to cross that bridge to the beach tonight, and I might feel a little strange celebrating while the folks in Texas are preparing for the arrival of Ike. We will follow the forecast closely on the news.
I hope there is no loss of life from this storm, although you can be sure there will be loss of something. If nothing else, wildlife habitats, like the Gulf Islands National Seashore, always suffer encroachment by the rising flood waters. It's bad enough they have had to lose by encroaching development in years past. Things like the boardwalk with all of its enticements have replaced those natural barriers to nature's fury, the sand dunes which used to be there.
This picture of an elephant's ear plant, which I hear is a type of Caladium, makes me think of heeding warnings. I hope the people near the water leave quickly. They do not have much time left to evacuate. I probably should have done some research (click here) before I leaped at the chance to add this plant to my garden. Now I know. These plants can spread farther and wider than I would like them to. I may have to keep them in check by building a barrier. I planted them along with the liriope to prevent erosion in this bed on the north side of the house. This gardener never seems to learn from her mistakes.
Maybe some music will put me in a better frame of mind. I love to sit outside and listen to my windchimes. We bought these in a flea market near Cape Coral, Florida. I lost the card that came with them, but I think they are called Corinthian Bells. The company that makes them probably did not want them to resonate like "sounding brass or a clanging cymbal," and they are crafted so well that they can induce a peaceful feeling when the wind gently moves them.
At this moment a patter of footsteps was heard, and looking up they saw the live phonograph standing before them. It seemed to have passed through many adventures since Ojo and his comrades last saw the machine, for the varnish of its wooden case was all marred and dented and scratched in a way that gave it an aged and disreputable appearance.
"Dear me!" exclaimed Ojo, staring hard. "What has happened to you?"
"Nothing much," replied the phonograph in a sad and depressed voice. "I've had enough things thrown at me, since I left you, to stock a department store and furnish half a dozen bargain-counters."
"Are you so broken up that you can't play?" asked Scraps.
"No; I still am able to grind out delicious music. Just now I've a record on tap that is really superb," said the phonograph, growing more cheerful.
"That is too bad," remarked Ojo. "We've no objection to you as a machine, you know; but as a music-maker we hate you."
"Then why was I ever invented?" demanded the machine, in a tone of indignant protest.
They looked at one another inquiringly, but no one could answer such a puzzling question. Finally the Shaggy Man said:
"I'd like to hear the phonograph play."
Ojo sighed. "We've been very happy since we met you, sir," he said.
"I know. But a little misery, at times, makes one appreciate happiness more. Tell me, Phony, what is this record like, which you say you have on tap?"
"It's a popular song, sir. In all civilized lands the common people have gone wild over it."
"Makes civilized folks wild folks, eh? Then it's dangerous."
"Wild with joy, I mean," explained the phonograph. "Listen. This song will prove a rare treat to you, I know. It made the author rich--for an author..."
--from The Patchwork Girl of Oz by L. Frank Baum--
Click here for an interesting perspective on another Gulf city which is bracing itself for a lot of wind which will not be moving gently. I wish the residents peace after the storm.