Inclement weather.

The window rattles, startled by the desperate bursts of wind.

(Outside, sirens.)

The glass dances, its vibrations carried down through the floor and deep into the boards. The outside land’s maddened temper is aroar, alight. Might the glass buckle entirely, might shards and slanted rain and tumbling debris come blowing in?

No, the window holds its own. Clear but sturdy, made to withstand the violent bluster and the revolt of particles and matter, though these kinds of events are rare around here.

A tree outside has greened and grayed and filled out and molted all along the seasons, but lies nearly horizontal now. Will it snap? Will its elegant trunk give way to the gales, and offer up its life to the One who made it? How much can it withstand? Gusts of 40, 50, 60, more? How many times can its pointed top touch near the ground, fully bent, and still right itself again? The tree bends and stands, bends and stands again, a ballet all along its leg and arms.

The sun has abandoned this day, perhaps to rest, and passionless light filters through and joins the glow of a desk lamp. (The lamp buzzes but cannot be heard–not through the squall and the frightening whine of sirens.)

The tree remains, ducking, still bracing itself. The glass window, an eerie instrument, hums a tune alive on the wind and drums a loose refrain.

And the rain soaks the ground.