Sunday, January 15, 2006


The storm pummeled the house - first left, then right - howling triumphantly with each blow, battering walls with swinging birdfeeders, flinging not only snow and sleet but whatever it can catch up as it rushes past: branches of pine, oak or beech sail through the air. Even clouds rush from its fury. Stars like spectators watch as the curtain of clouds is rolled back.

The tumult drags me from my warm cocoon of sleep. Bleary eyed I stumble to the door flip the switch on the wall --- no power. The storm has triumphed over the inventions of mortals --- it has consumed the power in its wake.

Fumbling through the darkness I find my way to the loft, a pale glow from a flashlight my only guide. The skylight opens with creaking, crackling and moaning as it pulls free of its covering of ice and snow.

Palest tints of rose rim the hills, their colors muted by billowing clouds. The clouds fill the sky changing it tone by tone to a silvery mauve. The wind continues its wandering, sounding notes as it blows tunes on everything in its path as though tentatively exploring the sounds and blending them into a symphony. The melody carried by the deep notes of the rushing river accompanies the wind’s own tunes as it strikes cords on the house and sets each tree vibrating with sound. Grabbing at the trees, it beats a rhythm using branches for drumsticks.

An intermission --- the curtain of clouds falls back in place --- yet the storm continues to conduct the music even with its audience hidden from view.

This is not a time for lounging in robe and slippers --- I don layer after layer of warm clothes, cover them with a warm cape and wander from window to window searching for photographic material --- still too little light. The constantly changing scene is filled with clouds hiding away the light.

I let myself sink deep into my chair listening to the concert. Wrapped in comfort I enjoy its wild tumultuous wailing song. Drifting with the clouds --- I rest my eyes ---- and sleep.

The birds know it is time for the sun to rise and the day to begin --- they come out from the protected corners where they spent the night only to discover snow and ice covering the ground as well as every feeder.

The wind has not let up for a moment. As I looked out the window during the night, the trees were spectacular in their covering of snow. This morning, wind driven billows of snow lift from the treetops and arc over the house leaving the trees bare. There is no place for the birds to shelter from this driving wind. Food that has been set out for them is lifted by the capricious wind and blown throughout the clearing and up into the woods.

The wind succeeds in driving away the clouds, leaving the clearest of blues filling the sky. No matter how bright the sun or how blue the sky, this bitter wind surrounds us with biting cold.

At the top of our list of blessings today --- Gratitude for the return of Electricity bringing warmth and light in the midst of the storm.


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