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Friday, December 16, 2005

The Coming Storm



It's always worst before the storm.

The sky darkens, storm clouds move across the horizon, wisps of clouds racing like smoke across the heavens. A wind picks up blowing aside leaves and wrappers and raising waves along the water. Seagulls circle and whirl as if blown around by the wind trying to break free and unable to escape its force.

Like birds at sea which will take refuge from storms on the ocean on the masts of sailing ships, the seagulls land on the railings near people and do not stir taking refuge from the coming storm.

I am reminded of a day like this one early in september. The towers, both of them, stand tall above downtown. At seaport by the Fulton Street fish market, a band is playing poorly, a middle aged couple in worn jeans sway along to the music.

Seagulls circle the flagpole from which the american flag hangs like vultures. The flag blows, its redness like a flame, the seagulls whirl agitatedly sensing the coming storm. I did not know then what was to come but I felt a distinct feeling of unease. A sense of dark times on the horizon.

It wasn't long in early september when the storm came. The towers burned and fell and from the office buildings near seaport lines of men and women marched across the Brooklyn Bridge to safety.

Outside now the rain is falling, the threatened storm is here. And yet as I read the pages of the daily newspapers I wonder if the real storm is not still to come.

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