William Wordsworth said, “Nature never did betray the heart that loved her.” If I could see him now, I’d punch him in the mouth. Last night we had a brief storm in my part of Monroe and Mother Nature spanked me. We have an empty lot next to our house. In the empty lot is a dead pecan tree, not far from my driveway. It used to be larger than it is today. Last night, a demon-wind broke part of the tree and it fell on our 2000 Toyota Camry. Flattened the roof. One limb rises from the shattered windshield like it was a stake driven in the Camry’s heart. Only moments before this catastrophe, I was sitting in my back patio experiencing and watching the approaching storm. (Like King Lear, I tend to find myself in many storms) Then I heard the distinctive sound of wood thudding into something. I looked at the roof first, thinking a branch had fallen on it. Then I glanced at my car, spiked like some victim of Vlad the Impaler.
I am sure my Camry is totalled. I know it cannot be driven. I just watched as it was towed to Parker’s Auto shop for its postmortem. Our beloved (and paid for) car has seen its last days. Soon it will be stripped of all usable parts like a recently deceased organ donor, and someone will make more money than I’ll certainly get with the insurance payoff. So today, in addition to teaching two college classes (that I’m very behind in), I must attend to the details related to my car’s demise: stop by the body shop and sign papers, meet with the adjustor and sign more papers, call the insurance company back and get a claim number, and then get a rental car. I have signings I must prepare for. Must move rocks (paper work) for the university. I also must now think of how I am to replace the vehicle. Grrrr.
So, today, I’m a Naturalist (like Stephen Crane, Dreiser, etc.) in my philosophy. They believed that men were victims of their environment, living in an indifferent universe, and victims of forces they could neither understand nor control. And that was when things were going well.