On this late Saturday afternoon, the windows are open in this abode, and the Labbies are lounging in a yard filled with dandelions, globes of silky filaments destined to sail away through the air.
What a week it has been in Virginia.
Late Sunday night there were strong winds and much rain. A tree came crashing down along a road not far from here, taking with it access to the juice supplied by overhead power lines. At 4:13 a.m. I woke with a start. It was the day I was to launch a Web site I'd been working on since July 2006. My kingdom for a computer that could power up to the Internet.
I cleaned up as best I could, powered up the Mighty Bug, and with a bad case of bed hair, motored to the main road outta here toward the state of Maryland. There were lots of flooded sections along the way, and the Mighty Bug hydroplaned through the streams flowing across the road by the wildlife refuge. We made it to the 7-11 where there was light, and at least one 20 oz. cup of coffee for sale.
The site did go online that day, and on the way out of the client's office, someone said, "A bunch of people have been shot and killed at Virginia Tech." On the way home, I stopped at the Shopper's Food Warehouse where the scene was full of rumor and relief. "75 people have been murdered at a local high school," one man announced to another, back in the bakery section. I pushed my cart down the soda/water aisle, past a woman on a cellphone, her teenaged daughter by her side. "She's OK," the woman told the young lady as the cell call ended. The older woman put her head down on the handle of the cart and sobbed. Her daughter's eyes filled with tears. She touched her mother's arm.
At home here in the woods, there were Labbies and no electricity. Got out the candles and flashlight and battery-powered phone. I listened to the transistor radio for a while. There was mention of a Virginia Tech professor who sacrificed himself for his students. This man was Romanian, and had survived the Holocaust. The end came for him when he used his body to stall the gunman's entry into the classroom so his students could escape. As most teachers know, there is usually only one way in or out of a classroom.
In the fading gray light that evening, I simply sat on the living room couch, and thought how impossible it is to know everything about anyone. I think it is because we all have a place inside us where we hold what we have come to know. This includes the goodness of action that occurs without need of notice, as well as the darkness that is either tamed, or released.