The Storm

“Most dangerous storm of the winter,”  Governor Baker………..”Worst storm in my lifetime,”  Senior Citizen, South Shore

Jamaica Plain suffered much damage.  Our home at 39 St. John Street had a very close call.  A 60 foot tall Norway Maple fell across St. John Street into our neighbor’s front yard.  If the the maple tree had fallen directly across the street it would have struck the front of our home, affectionately, intellectually an spiritually named the Margret Fuller, Emily Green Balsh Home, Sojourner Truth Home. The house was originally built for the Jamaica Plain Club, according to an historian’s understanding.  Power was knocked out because the falling tree took down all the wires bring power to the building.  Because their were live wires under and around the fall tree, all power was cutoff in the area.


Before going to bed I changed into fresh cloths for the next day, knowing it would be a cold house and did not want to struggle in the morning to find fresh cloths.  So at 5AM I arose naturally, without an alarm, and today there was no alarm possible without power.  Walking through the street, the scene was unreal. The tree fell toward two cars, but neither were crushed,  The branches of the tree acted as “landing platforms”  to break the fall before the trunk hit the car.  One car appeared to be wrapped in tree branches.

On the sloped above the pond on the western side where the stature honoring Francis Parkman is located, I stood and was immediately fascinated by the shades of gray, fast moving clouds, being driven by the continuing northeast, powerful winds of the storm far out at sea. Standing on this open space I frozen by the uncanny gray colors and the the trees, each with a different image against  the gray sky. And as I watched, it became clear, there were many shades of gray at times.  At other times the sky seem uniform in it’s steely appearance. My eyes for a time focused on the grounds of this sloping field between the trees at the water’s edge and the forest on the hillside. My eyes, which I often say in my old age are observing the world as a Monet.

My mind now travels back to Cornell University where I first listened to Paul Tillich, the international known Philosopher/Theologian.  How grasping and gripping were his ideas, thoughts and overall spirit.  This was one of the reasons I was motivated by President Harold Case to accept his invitation to go Boston.  (In Boston I took two course with Tillich at Harvard, “Philosophy of Religion” and “History of Art.” One day in which I walked with Dr.Tillich from the one class to the other I asked about finding a profession to become involved with, he responded, “If I had it to do over again, I would be an artist.”

Now I reflect upon a recent day when the weather was the exact opposite of today.  Absolutely clear skies with the red ball of fire rising in the East sending golden streaks of light reflecting of the waters and a crimson orange glow above the eastern horizon.  About 20 mniutes later standing by the water’s edge I turned and looked up through the branches of an American Sycamore Tee which seemed to be beaming light of it’s own in the reflections from the sun against the deep, deep blue of the sky.  “This was the type of Nature’s Glory which I thought must have motivated Vincent van Gogh… and I thought, “We all still have the chance to see, feel and be grasp by the Wonders of Nature” anywhere where the natural world has been preserved…..

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