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.