Two Minutes About A Storm
I have seen many storms in my life. Most storms have caught me by surprise, so I had to learn very quickly to look further and understand that I am not capable of controlling the weather, to exercise the art of patience and to respect the fury of nature.
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Storm watching isn’t for amateurs. Gale force winds pummeled the house. Gusts tunneled through the nooks and crannies. Wind whistled like a freight train, assaulted the weak in its path. A rip- snorter of a storm had caught the West Coast somewhat by surprise.
Surprise because it is seasonally too early to experience such chaos. Drought like conditions created this “perfect storm.” Stressed coastal trees, their root systems dried and brittle from a lack of rainfall and necessary water restrictions. Meteorologists describe this type of storm phenomenon as a Pineapple Express. There was nothing sweet about this rebel train.
As a child I feared storms, cowered with fright as thunder clapped and lightning struck just beyond my world. I peeked through my bedroom window, listened to the rhythmic taps; imagined slender witch’s fingers a ‘waiting to snatch. A blanket was my armor. It’s different now. Altered, older, stronger, I have faced fear.
Trepidation and wild curiosity fueled me. I ventured outdoors to stand in the fury. The advisory recommended, stay indoors. Foolishly lawless, I steadied for the fight. The street was eerily silent, the quietest calm. The only sounds heard were the snap of branches, the crash of metal falling, and then, the unrelenting screams of wind. Nature unleashed a beast.
Bravely I filmed. In between scenes, wild became calm and still. Stealthily the beast circled, at first the only clue, a faint whooshing as it whistled and teased the branches. Momentum gathered to unleash a fury.
Evergreen limbs jitterbugged, a frenzy of branches whipped about. Pinecones scattered. Boughs snapped and thumped to the ground. Later I would hear the news, power lines fell and arced. Someone’s forgotten laundry sailed past my windowpane. A cast of tea towels, ghosts to a gathering. Sirens screamed.
Defeated and spent the storm abated. The clouds parted and a heart formed within the gossamer. Humanity ventured out from the safety of their shelters and began to tidy the debris left. Usually silent neighbours spoke, stepped in to aid one another with the clean up. Random acts of kindness shone.
Sometimes it takes a storm to remind us of the grace that follows. Life storms happen and in the moments of peace and quiet that follow; we realize how much there is to be grateful for.