Sunday, August 7, 2011

Our Friendly Neighborhood Typhoon

Muifa actually hasn't even hit us yet, but already the waves are awesome!  The sheer power and force of nature never ceases to amaze me.  The same areas that I walked on by the water yesterday are now underwater . . . the water is almost up to the middle walkway on the sea wall (that walkway is about 10-15 feet below the top of the wall)!  The huge waves keep beating on it, many of them splashing well over the wall and flooding the main walkway.

Naturally, I changed as soon as I got home from a gathering of friends, and raced outside to get a good look at those waves.  (There were lots of other people out there too, Mother.  And there was no way for me to get swept over the side.)  I meandered about, snapping photos with one of my useless cameras (two years from now I'll be in the US for a visit and can get the photos off the camera), and wading on the sidewalk (about three inches deep in water).  I found some friends of mine from the school, the Kubalskis, and joined them by the wall.  We marveled at the magnificence of the waves, occasionally darting backward to avoid getting smacked by them as they came over the top of the wall.  Kevin got soaked from head to foot by one of those waves, much to the delight of the Kubalski children, Hattie and Peyton (very nice kids).

Marcella remarked that these waves are coming at us from more than 700 miles away . . . we then speculated about what it'll be like when the storm actually gets here!  After a while, the Kubalskis went in, and I found a very friendly Chinese woman who was eager to chat.  She turned out to speak very good English, which made conversation ever so much easier.  Sometimes I get a very strong feeling of bitterness towards those involved in that wretched Tower of Babel -- it would be so nice, once in a while, if languages were not quite so diverse!  The woman and I enjoyed conversing and occasionally darting away from walls of water.  I was impressed to see how one series of waves just down from us managed to bend a lightpost!  From the waves at high tide last night, there were several tiles that had been ripped loose from the walkway and cast into the grass.  From here in my living room, I can see and hear that the waves are continuing to multiply and to grow in size and speed.

The gates to my apartment complex have sandbags in front of them now, so clearly there is concern about the amount of water we're going to get.  I'm curious about how drenched I'm going to get on the way to the bus stop tomorrow -- I probably won't be able to walk the path that I usually take, owing to the waves coming over the wall, so I may have to search for another, much longer, route.

Yup; a wave got me!

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"Passage—immediate passage! the blood burns in my veins! Away, O soul! hoist instantly the anchor!
Cut the hawsers—haul out—shake out every sail!
Have we not stood here like trees in the ground long enough?
Have we not grovell’d here long enough, eating and drinking like mere brutes?
Have we not darken’d and dazed ourselves with books long enough?

Sail forth! steer for the deep waters only!
Reckless, O soul, exploring, I with thee, and thou with me;
For we are bound where mariner has not yet dared to go, And we will risk the ship, ourselves and all.

O my brave soul!
O farther, farther sail!
O daring joy, but safe! Are they not all the seas of God?
O farther, farther, farther sail!"

~Walt Whitman, "Passage to India"