There’s a fence running the perimeter of my property.
A tall, gorgeous fence, the kind that makes passersby wonder how lovely the home must be tucked away inside. Because just driving past, you can’t really see the house -- unless you’re talking about the little glimpse of color through the brief opening beside the gate.
I’ve invited guests inside. I’ve opened the gate and we’ve sat in cushioned chairs on the deck. I’ve poured iced tea into sparkly glasses and set handy little coasters just within reach. And we’ve smiled and chatted happily as we gazed at my freshly mown grass and the butterfly bopping around that little rose bush just beyond the steps.
Ahhhh. So lovely.
But we had a storm last night. Quite a storm.
The kind that makes the meteorologists rub their palms together, clears the water gallons from the store shelves, chases the dog under the coffee table. The kind that keeps the eyelids open and the ears straining for sounds of branches cracking.
And now I’m standing on my porch looking at the damage. The devastation.
My fence is gone. Obliterated. Branches and Spanish moss and chunks of fencing litter my yard. I see cars making their slow drive down the cluttered street, a guy walking his dog along the sidewalk, my neighbors in bathrobes surveying the damage.
And they see me.
No fence and now I’m totally visible. Exposed.
And so very uncomfortable.
My neighbor lifts her hand in a gentle wave, and smiles. The chaos in my yard mirrored in hers.
And my face softens and my shoulders relax
and I smile back.