What a piece of work is man
How noble in reason
how infinite in faculties
in apprehension how like a swan
the beauty of the world
the paragon of animals
I have of late but wherefore I know not lost all my mirth
This goodly frame the earth seems to me a sterile promontory
this majestical roof the air look you
this brave o’re hanging firmament
threaded with golden fire
why it appears to me no other thing to me than a foul
and pestilent congregation of vapors
Now, before anyone complains, remember that I’ve just experienced 2 hurricanes and a tropical depression with 10” of rain in four hours, power has been out for almost six weeks and there is seldom an internet connection to be found. I’ve had to rely on memory to recreate this section of Hamlet [that may actually be the adaptation used in the rock musical, Hair or just plain wrong]. I can’t look it up, so I have to go from memory.
Anyway, the tropical rain forest I live in is turning green again. The fruit trees are lying horizontally across the property, trying to reach for the heavens again with remaining branches and the grass is tall as ever. The problem is that I, as a paragon of animals, seek order. My yard is supposed to be grass that can be cut with a lawnmower, and my trees should remain vertical. The fact they are content to lay there across the yard with their branches either happily sprouting leaves or dead and broken in the path of the mower disrupts my desired order. If I don’t do something about this soon, the forest will take back the yard. So, I can’t really say I know not wherefore I have lost my mirth, it greets me at the front door every morning.
I may have had infinite faculties when I was younger, but I’m older and health issues forced my early retirement. I can only work in tropical heat for twenty minute stretches with forty minutes of rest before trying again. I have no chain saw. If I rise at first light, I get more done until that oppressive golden fire bravely hangs itself in the firmament.
Things across the island seem like a foul and pestilent congregation of vapors, yet I am very lucky, I still have a roof and a house and cars and, my husband and I have our health. The U.S. Virgin Islands are trying to be noble in reason while we see our neighbor, Puerto Rico, get all of the attention. We are citizens of the United States and even though we are tiny, in contrast, we are a separate US territory and require the same aid. This isn’t a competition, but when our own President mistakes our Governor for president of some foreign country we have to stand up and say his apprehension is like a swan – a bit bird-brained. We deserve appropriate treatment.