The snow followed the confines of the street as it flowed like a gentle creek from the northwest towards the east. The undulating, wavy pattern was mesmerizing. Next, a billowing cloud of snow appeared from the north like a tidal wave. The rushing white-out engulfed the landscape for a second or two. I braced myself for its noise. The 65-miles an hour gust howled as it shook the house’s steel awnings. The activity marked the diminishing of the severe wind storm.
The prior day, that wind battered away at the neighborhood, creating havoc and anxiety to the inhabitants, including me. Weather forecasters had warned that the wind storm had the potential to blow down power lines and severely damage trees. NOAA recommended that only emergencies warrant travel on the streets and roads, as visibility would be down to zero across the area. People who drive trucks and high profile vehicles were warned that wind gusts would cause instability and possibly overturn them on the roads.
I’m normally calm and collected during severe weather, but I felt uneasy with nerves on edge. I distracted myself by working on a redecorating project in the kitchen. From time to time loud thunks caused by the wind lifting an awning startled me and increased my level of anxiety. There is more concern regarding potential damage to the house now that I’m a homeowner than before, when I was only a tenant. I re-pledged to hiring a tree service at the onset of spring to cut back the large branches that overhang the roof.
At bedtime, that wind’s intensity increased–so did the noise. I considered not going to bed because I would be vulnerable to any sudden wind gusts that might break windows. Perhaps a tree limb would crash through the roof and crush me to death if I was sleeping and unaware. The muscles of my upper back felt as tight as a drawn bowstring. Mindfulness breathing exercises were in order.
I convinced myself to find respite in the warmth of my bed, regardless of dire circumstances. I curled up; set the sleep monitor app on the smartwatch; pushed play on the cassette player to start an auto-hypnosis tape; then nodded off to dreamland.
A firm thud and rumble startled me awake. Adrenalin coursed through my arteries to instantly cause full alertness. I got up and glanced through a window. Nothing was amiss except for a small branch laying in the yard that hadn’t been there earlier. I pressed the function button on the smartwatch to halt the sleep monitoring app. It said that I managed to get a full three hours of sleep despite the storm. Oh well.
I began this post as a diary entry at noon of the second day of the wind storm. That wind shifted to blowing from the west. The weather forecasters said the highest wind gusts were 55 miles an hour. That was an improvement. At least the awnings thumped less often. By evening, the winds abated with deep sleep on the agenda.
The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes Ancient Roman poet, Quintus Horatius Flaccus aka Horace. “The lofty pine is oftenest shaken by the winds; High towers fall with a heavier crash; And the lightning strikes the highest mountain.”