Welcome to the Hearth

Welcome to the Hearth

Thursday, December 6, 2007

How to survive the storms of life.

Wow! What a ride! I don’t mean to make light of one of the most serious storms in the last 11 years, possibly for some, the last 30 years, but, now that the power is back on and I am connected again with the rest of the world, I realize just how bad it was. For the last 4 days I have stayed huddled next to the woodstove and my greyhound Toby, riding out a doozie of a storm. I live on the edge of the Pacific Ocean near a place called Cape Foulweather. Winds were fierce here, clocked at 100 + MPH. I understand the weather station in Astoria simply just blew away! I was prepared with oil lamps, a wind-up radio and a cell phone, (though I can’t ever get reception in or around my house. I’d have to go down on the road below me to make a call.) Afterwards, most of the neighborhood got its power back except for about 3 of us connected to the old Otter Crest Loop Rd. During the storm, which lasted for 2 long, dark days, all I could really do is pray and watch the world blow by. Many evergreen trees surround my house. What I noticed is that not a one of them faltered, though, they took the brunt of the wind. Their secret to survival through, I’m sure, many such storm, has been the way they interlocked their branches and held each other, like a chorus line of dancing women. I felt myself, at times, join and become one with the swaying, as if to gain some courage and strength in the face of the awesome power the wind served up relentlessly for 2 full days. By the third day of having no electricity, the food in the refrigerator was getting “blinky” and I had to toss it. Thankfully, the neighbors who had lights helped me rig up an extension chord from their house, up the hill to mine so I could, at least save the food in the freezer. As I sat for a 4th dark night next to my wood stove I found the gratitude flowing for all the ways I was cared for. I had spent some of the day out and about and saw all the ways that people, like those faithful trees, had arms interlocked supporting one another to recover from the nightmare. When I was actually able to see the scope of the storm when electricity and cable were restored, it made me realize how good the world really is. Despite the chaos our species can serve up, most of us don’t loose it and go on a shooting rampage, we reach out and connect. We lock arms and move forward into the light. This seems to be a theme that continues to engage me. I see all around me the will and the hope to go forward and to “put our feet on the road to greatness during this great time of Grace.” Often when I visit other blog sites that you, my visitors to this blog have also created, I read about the storms in your lives and the miracle moments you all help to bring about by the simple choosing to not be defeated. I can see clearly why, (even though some of the Angels scratch their heads wondering what the Creator sees in us human,) God is so very fond of us.


The Dream said...

Sister Kathryn-
Glad to read you are well and that you made it through that wild storm. The wind is such a powerful force - so unpredicatble. I did a painting series a few years ago of my family members, represented by the elements. My now 16 year old daughter is most definitely the wind. I never had full appreciation for the wind until I started actively sailing 7 years ago. There are times when it is subtle and soothing and refreshing; times when I plead for it to come; times when a "puff" can change one's direction; times when I had to completely go with The Third Step when I thought we would never make it to land again.
I LOVE what you wrote about the Evergreens. It is an amazing sight to see trees bending in seemingly impossible ways - and surviving.

storyteller said...

It's a relief to hear that you're doing well after the storm. Your image of the Evergreens supporting one another to remain upright will remain with me for a long time. How fortunate you had extension cords long enough to save the food in your freezer.
Hugs and blessings,

lucy said...

you are a mighty example of one who chooses not to be defeated! while i realize this storm was extreme & potentially devastating for many, i found myself wanting to huddle next to you in the dark and watch those dancing trees.

love the word "blinky" :-) and the image of the "chorus line of dancing women." so glad you are safe and sound and that you chose to share these survival tips with us!

Ruth said...

I love your description of the trees like dancing women all holding hands.