Friday I took the Amtrak (ah, Quiet Car) to Westerly, RI to spend the day with my dear friend, Diana. She picked me up from the train station; first stop, Westerly’s waterfront, devastated by Hurricane Sandy.
Driving past beachfront homes, some still in tough shape, I suddenly realized: my lifelong dream to own a house on the water is GONE! Poof. Buy expensive property exactly where the super-storms of the future will strike? That’s just crazy.
There’s a mild sort of freedom, of course, to be free of this covetousness. (There’s some nasty family history folded into this lifelong desire, too, but why get into that?) More importantly, of course, I am deeply, deeply sad, a sadness shared by my generation, to acknowledge that the world we grew up in is no more.
Diana and I stopped at Watch Hill for a brief walk. Sandy-swept sand had reshaped the beach, sculpted odd spots such as the entrance to an ancient carousel, covered sidewalks. Sand was pervasively, immutably, grittily, chafing-against-skin everywhere.
May I remember that chafing. May I remember to keep asking, keep asking: What is it I am asked to do to help heal a broken world?