Stormy, Stormy Night…

The city is empty today. Like in a post apocalyptic movie. A few stragglers with heavy coats, collars turned up against the wind and steady rainfall. A constant eerie whistle gives the wind gusts a haunting feeling. The usual hustling bustling is silent and gray. The construction crew that usually sits on the ledge is missing. The towers that usually stand strong and bright against the sky are shrouded in mist and sometimes when the wind dies i can even hear the ripple of water from the puddle I walk by.
Hurricane Sandy. Such an innocuous and bubbly name for the destruction and gloom the storm is bringing. The company closed early because the commuter rail suspended service at 2. On my walk to the station to catch the last train out I had to pause at moments. People were grabbing trees, or hiding behind columns. A loud crack and a tree branch broke off and fell to the ground. A bird takes flight only to be tossed like a rag in the wind. I don’t see its descent. A stray leaf flies through the wind- it stings my face. Shrapnal.

Having lived through several category 5 hurricanes I didn’t pay much attention to Sandy. A category 1 joined with a winter weather network. The perfect storm- like the one in 1991.

Sitting by the window. Listening to the storm.. It roars and it screams.. It hisses and sizzles.. It bends the trees.. They bend and bend and bend and bend and snap..

All the windows in my house are wide open. Wind and the smell of winter gush in and in my mind its peaceful. My soul urges me to stand outside in the middle of the swirling chaos; I feel so alive. Cold rain stings my face, my hair is pulled in all directions and my pores open up to absorb the energy and power of Earth. My heart and body are pulsing with the power and a peculiar heat envelopes me.

High on life. Passion and power. I love, I live for these displays of natural power. People scurrying like ants for cover, for shelter. And mother earth raising her voice..The ground is strewn with leaves. A shudder runs through my body. The urgency of every gust running through me like current. It dies down as quickly. Pure and complete silence for a second.. Two. And then I can hear it coming; from every direction rushing towards me like I stand at the enter. I draw her in like breath.

Am I a thrill seeker? Or a fool?

She can snap me like a twig- but my pure instinct is to stand out here in the rain and raise my arms to the beautiful distruction.. I have a strange respect for the earth. When lives are lost, and property damaged I smile to myself. The earth humbles us. Reminding us that no matter how arrogant we’ve become there will always be a power we cannot harness. It humbles me. She drags me to my knees and reminds me how insignificant my life is. A spec of dust in this universe. I dare not have pride.. I dare not have arrogance. Shower me with humility and humble me with this show of power- the ocean, the winds, the skies all exploding at once.

“Hide away humans. Stock your home with food, and cower behind your shutters.” She says.

Standing outside in the heart of the storm. I live. I breath. I recognize. I see deeply within me the insignificance of my problems, of my triumphs, my fears and my achievements.

The wind picks up, the rain falls in sheets, and enslaved by technology I forfeit to my cowardice; I step inside my haven. It is warm here. Smells like food and love. The storm rages on and it’s beautiful from here too. Curled up on my couch with Cary Grant and Frank Capra.. I pause the movie from time to time- when I hear her yelling for my attention. I close my eyes, listening in awe and indulge in this display of power. I am alive tonight. So alive.


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