Saturday, May 25, 2013

After The Storm

I'm standing in "Sandy Remix"
(photo by Katherine Koch)

I wasn’t in New York City when Hurricane Sandy hit last October. But when I returned to my park soon after, I was shocked to see how many trees had fallen. There were mountains of broken branches and trunks. Eventually most were chipped into mulch and so returned to the earth. But a few lucky bits of wood were used by the tree-house architect, Roderick Wolgamott Romero, to build "Sandy Remix."

You can go in it, as I did the other day, when you visit the Brooklyn Botanic garden. It’s amazing. Who could resist climbing up to stand in what feels like a giant bird’s nest?  Especially on a beautiful spring day, when flowers are unfolding everywhere.

One tree house can’t compensate for all the destruction, but it’s important to find what good we can in any disaster. When I was a kid, somehow I figured out that almost any ordeal could be easier to endure by thinking what a great story it would make afterwards.

In that way, my bout with cancer became part of my new novel about a parrot and a girl who’s forgotten how to try.

Life goes on. And trees toppled by a hurricane become a new vantage point from which to appreciate nature.

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