Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

The Waiting Was the Hardest Part

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

The Waiting Was the Hardest Part

Article excerpt

Byline: Elizabeth Seney, Shorelines columnist

One of my favorite writers, E.B. White, wrote one of my favorite essays, The Eye of Edna, on Sept. 15, 1954 while living in Allen Cove, east of Penobscot Bay on the Maine coast. White's inspiration for this essay? The interminable wait for a hurricane named Edna.

I've found an immense amount of comfort in this essay recently because my being, both mental and physical, has been in an intense state of alert and on hold for the past month. I feel much like I imagine my dog feels when she senses a stirring in the woods off in the distance. She becomes motionless, her ears pricked upright. I can almost see her heart pounding in her chest. She anticipates that at any moment, something wonderful or horrible will emerge from those woods. She wants to be ready when it does. I tighten my grip on her leash. I know that at first sight of a bushy tail, she will be off, possibly yanking her leash from my grip.

The dog will maintain this posture for only a few minutes before she relaxes and continues on with her walk. I, on the other hand, with the help of the Weather Channel, CNN, Headline News, PBS, local news channels, satellite recognizance and duel Doppler radar, have retained my recent adrenaline rush anticipating Florida hurricanes for an unhealthy period of time. Now I understand why. If White was put off by the media frenzy back in 1954, when all he had in his home was a radio, then my exhaustion makes perfect sense.

"It became evident to me after a few fast rounds with the radio that the broadcasters had opened up on Edna awfully far in advance, before she had come out of her corner, and were spending themselves at a reckless rate. During the morning hours, they were having a tough time keeping Edna going at the velocity demanded of emergency broadcasting," White wrote. …

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