Sheltering or Hunkering?

Oysterville by Willard Espy

In an ordinary year, a hundred inches of rain fall on grandpa’s village; we have mutated until we breathe with comfort air that is half water, or water that is half air.  I suspect that if the Peninsula were to sink beneath our feet, a mishap that in some downpours seems imminent, we could live submerged without serious inconvenience.  So wrote my venerable uncle Willard Espy in his introduction to Oysterville: Roads to Grandpa’s Village.

Those words were written nearly fifty years ago, and I’m not so sure we still get that much rainfall in a “normal” year.  But… this year is hardly normal in other respects and, for the last few days, the rain has come down steadily.  We have taken to hunkering rather than sheltering.  There’s probably a fine line there, but to me, hunkering implies hiding out and sheltering is more about staying safe.

A Good Place for Hunkering and Sheltering

Besides the sound of rain on the roof and water swooshing down the drainpipes, we hear only the wind.  Periodically it rattles the roller door on the west side of the house and causes the rain to splat sideways against the windows.  The world — at least the part we see from our place– has lost its color; everything is curtained in gray.

I believe that this is the what grieving looks like — my feelings in 3D.  Sheltering against the pandemic and hunkering out of harm’s way — “the most we can do, the least we can do, all we can do” to quote Father Tom Williams.  Oysterville during this extraordinary year seems just the right place to be.

 

 

 

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