Monday, January 30, 2012

365 Jobs: Storms (Five) A Good Day for Rainbows

Monday, December 2, 1985

Another winter of storms.  This is our fourth day without power.  Today there's hope: though wet and gusty, there are breaks of sunshine.  Trucks and crews are everywhere, men with chainsaws, men on cherry pickers, great spools of wire on trailers.  There are bulldozers and dump trucks and even a giant crane plucking fallen trees from a logjam in the creek.  Bless our road crews!  Bless our linesmen!  Everywhere it's teamwork, rough work, temporary patches that will have to do with no regard for how it looks.  This is a battlefield.  Open the highways!  Restore the power!  Aesthetics will come later, in more peaceful time.

At a house in Palo Alto I "repair" a broken circuit by flipping the circuit breaker.  Sometimes it's that easy.  I charge an hour's labor — have to, or I'll go broke doing this stuff — feel guilty but move on.  It's a day of small jobs, small checks. 

Every time the sun breaks through, lovely rainbows appear.

After the work day I pick up my three-year-old at Nursery Blue where there is a mammoth puddle.  Boys and girls in boots or barefoot are pulling boats.  The entire scene is framed by rainbow. 

Back home, lights are on.  The refrigerator is humming.  Suddenly, briefly, a hailstorm rattles the roof like God throwing gravel — and all the while, the sun keeps shining.  I see an icebow.

Pacific Storm

Electricity out and
a Pontiac overturned in a ditch
like after a war,
a pine tree uprooted with
branches skittering everywhere,
but coming down the mountain
through thrashing wipers
I see one
— there! — over Interstate 280
above crawling cars,
and later another
— there! — on El Camino
rising from Ernie's Liquors,
and then again
— there! — a full half circle
from the Shell station
to the Christmas tree farm.
Everywhere pots of gold
except home, the power now on
but the phone is out
as hail pelts the skylight
and through the trees, bolts
of sunlight: all in all
a good day for rainbows.

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