Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Meeting Sandy

This storm is like nothing I remember ever experiencing, and I am afraid.  I am VERY afraid.  It doesn't help matters that my husband is out playing hero in it either.  Thus, the kids and I are here alone.

The trees in the wind look like over cooked broccoli being shaken by a toddler.  You know that it's going to shake apart, but you don't know when, and you don't know where it's going to land.  It's completely inevitable that it will happen though.

The power has been out since 7:30 PM.  My phone is in the car charging.  My battery decided to die just as the power did.  I have no clue what time it is.  The last time I checked, it was only 10 PM.  With the winds as high as they are, going out to the car for my phone is NOT an idea I relish....  And again, my husband is out in this...

He's a volunteer.  This is not his job.  This is not something he signed up to do.  He does it out of the good of his heart....   If he gets hurt while helping others, I wonder who, if anyone, would stop to help him as he has helped so many others....

The house is shaking and rattling.  The wind is screaming through any and all crevices it can find.  I'm torn between looking out the windows, and being afraid that those same windows just may blow in on me, or that something will come flying through them.

I've never been through this.  I am afraid.

I have an arsenal of flashlights, lanterns and candles.  However, I'm not sure how long the power will be out, so I'm saving them.  The house is currently lit with glow sticks taped to the walls.  They're a pretty effective means of light, and I hope that their happy colors and the fun they normally represent will bring calm to my kids should they wake to the screeching, howling, whipping winds.

Unfortunately, the glow sticks don't have the calming effect on me that I hope they'll have on the kids.  As a matter of fact, as their light fades, I'm filled more and more with a sense of dread and doom.  I am completely out of control of this, and there is nothing I can do to change that.

I try to confront my fear; to look it in the face.  It screams back at me in the wind...  The seemingly never ending, screeching, pounding, driving, tearing wind that is my fear.

I have never been through this, and I am afraid...

..... and alone.

I have no clue what's happening with the world outside the viewing area of my windows (which I'm afraid to get near).  This is a big change for me, as I've been glued to the television and computer all day as this storm has unfolded.  The rest of the world may have been blown into oblivion, and I wouldn't even know.  By the sounds of the increasing winds, that may be a very real possibility.

My kids have been sleeping since about 8:30 PM.  Now, at what I'm guessing is around 11 PM, I wish that I could give into that sweet, blissful escape.  If I could just block out the howling, the banging, the searching for a way in sound of the wind.  It's relentless and it's completely nerve-racking.

And again I think on my husband, and the fact that he's out in this attacking wind.  I feel guilty for wanting the escape of sleep when I'm warm and dry and relatively safe in the house.  I know that he is much more courageous than I.  He wears his courage as armour, but that armour can't and won't protect him from all that is out there tonight.  I hope that he is safe.

Every now and then the gusts die down just enough so that I can hear the sound of generators.  In those moments, I sit perfectly still.  I'm frozen with more fear than before.  You see, the generators sound like freight trains, and freight trains sound like tornadoes.  I know that a tornado spinning off in this storm is a very real possibility -especially since there are a few fronts colliding with this "Frankenstorm" as meteorologists have so lovingly named it.  Thankfully, there have not been any tornadoes yet -not that I would be able to see them.  And so I sit.  In fear.  Alone.

I don't remember ever living through anything like this, and I am afraid.

At long last, my eyelids finally begin to grow heavy.  I wonder how long I'll fight sleep due to my feelings of guilt over the husband not being home.  My children are blissfully sleeping.  They're oblivious to what's going on outside.  It's better this way.  Why needlessly scare them with the possibility of what could possibly happen?  If they wanted to play outside, I'd let them know what's out there, but as far as they know, nothing is this storm can hurt them in here.  They're safe.  They're warm.  They're dry.  My love can protect them from anything.  The innocence of childhood....

Suddenly, I realize that it seems as if the storm is starting to move out.  The howling winds have died down to a quieter roar.  The trees don't constantly look as if they're going to snap at any given second.  They resemble broccoli less and less and more and more the trees I've grown to know while living here the past 12 years.

I look out my back door.  The wind is still whipping, yet things are eerily still and quiet.  There is still heavy cloud cover, but it is obviously a full moon night.  The world -at least what I can see of it, is bathed in an ethereal blue light.  It's so bright.  It's so clear.  In a crazy moment in this crazy storm, it makes me look to the skies for spaceships.  When I see none I wonder if it's a sign of the Second Coming.  It's THAT bright and calm and THAT surreal.  After making it through today, and seeing the calm that I just witnessed, you just have to KNOW that there is a higher, divine power at work.  In that moment, in seeing that still tranquility, I knew.

As I open up the front door, and it is almost blown back in on me, I know that we are not yet out of the woods with this storm.  I know that it is not anywhere near over.  I know that there is still much and more to come.  However...

I have lived through this, and I am not afraid.