Saturday, January 30, 2016

Invisible Ocean

People in this part of the world claim that it is the wind and not the cold that gives winter here a uniquely unbearable edge. The wind intensifies in the fall and by winter it can knock down a grown adult if they happen to be a bit unsteady on their feet, or say standing on ice. I have developed a way of kicking out one foot as I unbuckle children from the back seat. I have learned, through black and purple bruises to my shin, that the wind can slam a heavy car door shut, sandwiching my shins between car and door.

Usually the wind is most intense for a few days leading up to a winter storm. Trees shake their leafless branches violently in the gusting gale. The lilac bush scratches wooden fingers on the side of our house. I imagine the yellow paint flaking off and blowing into the breeze. At night I lay in bed, listening to the wind howling and imagine my house right next to an invisible ocean. The blowing air sounds like  ocean waves slamming against a rocky cliff. All that is missing is the high cry of seagulls.

Then suddenly it stops. This morning I happened to be half awake when the howling of the winds simply stopped. No slow die down, but a huge last gasp of air and then nothing. It was silent for the first time in days. I lay there in the blue half light and knew that snow had started to fall.

The quietly falling snow is like cotton balls in my ears after the past few days. The relentless energy and sound of the incessant wind are gone, replaced with silence and slowly falling flakes, which gently accumulate over the hours. 


Sarah Purdy said...

This is lovely and I couldn't have said it better. It was so nice to wake up to quiet. I love how the new snow softens the light and the sounds outside. Adios wind.

Stacy said...

This post sounded so very Laura Ingells Wilder to me.

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