Clouds on the Horizon

The Storm, by Theodore Roethke


Against the stone breakwater,
Only an ominous lapping,
While the wind whines overhead,
Coming down from the mountain,
Whistling between the arbors, the winding terraces;
A thin whine of wires, a rattling and flapping of leaves,
And the small street-lamp swinging and slamming against
the lamp pole.

Where have the people gone?
There is one light on the mountain.

I slowly opened the bottom drawer on the right side of my desk.  The small leather bound volume was there.  Right where I had left it.

I stared at it.  It's been a year since I have written in my journal.  A year of joys, sorrows, triumphs, lessons, comings and goings.  Am I ready to write again?  I began an argument with myself.  I have not opened this drawer in a year.  Why would I have opened it now if I was not ready?

I reached down, took the journal and closed the drawer.  I opened it, and flipped through the pages, skimming them.  I did not stop to read anything, but certain words and passages leaped out at me as the pages flew by, each one like a single frame of a moving picture.

Caledon.  Carntaigh.  Duchy.  Balls.  Radio Riel.  Projects.  Friends.  Lovers.  Fame.  Enemies.  Edison.  New Toulouse.  New Babbage.  Drama.  Challenges.  Mistakes.  Heartbreak.  Success.

I closed the journal quickly and looked out my window into the west.  The sun was dipping low off of the coast of New Toulouse Bourbon, almost touching the water.  I'm not ready to write just yet, but I will be soon.

I placed the journal back in the drawer and closed it.  I stood up from my desk and headed downstairs.  I stepped outside, through the front door, to clear my head.

Looking west over the calm water was surreal.  We have usually had heavy storms here in New Toulouse by this time of year.  But this year?  Nothing.  It's been warm.  Sunny.  Blue skies.  Like a bizarre extension of summer.  No storms.  How strange.

I stood outside of my home, which is on the far Western shore of New Toulouse Bourbon.  I took a deep breath, inhaling the scent of the sea, and something else...

A storm is coming.  I can smell it in the air.  I frowned and took another deep breath.

It's coming.  My skin prickled.  A storm is coming.