I finally let go of the sea and head to the tent. There, I change into something warmer. The VHF radio is to my right but I stop myself from reaching for it. Why do I have to know what the reported conditions are a this moment? Let it go. I lie down inside the tent and close my eyes. Thoughts of what I’ve been witnessing as to the rising tide infiltrate my mind. I see sailing vessels of all shapes and sizes hightailing it to the nearest haven of safety. They aren’t running from the tide. It’s the wind, which is offshore as usual during this time of day. My, my, it is in a hurry expanding its strength, becoming highly focused and more intense with each passing moment. What is fueling it? I reach for the radio once more and stop myself. . . Let it go.
It is easier to close my eyes this time and even more so to stop thinking, wanting to know what’s going on in detail. There ya go. Breathe. Be gentle. A few moments pass or maybe more than that. I don’t know nor do I care. It’s just how it feels to me and that’s important. I hear the waves tumble and see white foam exploding against the dark blue and greenish liquid upon which they ride.
I want to go out and play, like I’ve done so many times. Oh, how I love the water. I love everything about it. I like being in it, immersed in its reality. I have a healthy respect for all bodies of water but I am not afraid. My favorite game is to wait for the action and the bigger the better and then put on a life jacket and swim away from shore. It’s hard work reaching a special place out in such mayhem. One so far out that everything on land looks very, very, small (As a youngster, the “far” for me frightened many an adult.). I always smile when the time comes to fold my arms across my chest and lean back, allowing the force of nature to carry me back to shore.
Right now, I’m on an island surrounded by an excited sea. I paddled here inside a craft that sits so low in the water that my lower half is beneath its surface. The rest of me barely reaches above the height of buoys that mark lobster traps. I sense how small I am and how big the world is through a lens far different of that of a hiker humbled by the wind on a mountain or cycling against some pretty nifty headwind for miles and miles on very flat land, or in a canoe not far from where the wind dropped to the ground in the form of a tornado.
More tomorrow for now I must rest among memories about the wind rather than water. I’ll share where I wander upon my return.
I’m finally at rest after two and a half days of listening to wind. The average mph over time was 33 mph. However, hours of 40 mph with gusts around 50 to 55 and few blasts beyond 60 mph raged across the fields at my home while the neighbors enjoy the protection of trees or live down the hill.
I checked the internet for a Randolph weather report and laughed as usual, as the conditions are from Gorham or Berlin. Wind 0 mph and the highest during the roar up here was 12 mph. I’m sure those snug inside the Mt. Washington Observatory laugh at me. I checked up on them and saw 93 mph sustained winds. There’s always the somewhere else that resets my perspective.
We did have a slight reprieve for a few hours on Sunday night. The clouds fled the sky releasing the moon from their dark firm grasp. I stepped out the door to have a look and saw its bright light, a perfect white to my imperfect eyes. I walked back inside to look out a window. The Elm Tree was back lit by the light of the moon, leaving finger like shadows upon the snow. It was a remarkable sight because nothing moved. The tree upon the snow was so still. This is the picture that fills my head and will do so again and again, every time I find solace after the violence of nature comes to end.
Here are some photos of spindrift that I nearly froze my hands off taking. For those who know where I live, I saw spindrift flying off Mt. Crescent for the first time ever. Click on Photo for full screen and description.
I showed this video clip on facebook from a windy day earlier this year. Try listening to the noise level several days in a row. (Including the relentless pounding my house took, shudders, creaks and snaps was it cry against the onslaught.)
Finally, some quiet. The photo below is a symbol of the relief and solace I felt when I saw the Elm Tree branches perfectly still.