Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Katrina's Song

We went to bed early Friday night. There was no electric power, therefore no air conditioning. I woke up in the middle of the night, at about three o'clock, unable to sleep any more, and nothing to do. I sat in my desk chair, feet up on the couch, looking out the window into the darkness. I could make out in the dim light that the rain was coming down in sheets and sideways. I could see that the trees were moving, bending and lashing in the wind. Water dripped almost soundlessly from the little spot on the roof over the living area, a drop every thirty seconds or so.

What caught my attention most, though, was the sound of the wind all around, as it passed through trees, through the high tension wires overhead just outside our gate, and as it scraped across the surfaces of the house. The pitch changed up and down as the winds gusted and ebbed and flowed. It was the sound of ghosts, the sounds of sadness. It was the sound of Maria.

THEY CALL THE WIND MARIA
Away out here they've got a name for rain and wind and fire.
The rain is Tess, the fire's Jo. They call the wind Maria.
Maria blows the stars around and sets the clouds a-flyin'.
Maria makes the mountains sound like folks was out there diein'.

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