Storm and What Comes After.
The morning after the storm there was brilliant sunshine sparkling on the waves and the snow drifts. Evidence of high winds were illustrated by the patches of bare ground in close proximity to sculpted drifts. Unexpected, was the still frozen snow inside the house very close to a heating duct and the vent to the clothes dryer which spit out frozen particles when the dryer was turned on.
When fierce winds encounter barriers (like a house built on a rise) the force of impact creates what appear to be mini tornado swirls which slam into whatever stops the forward momentum. When such a wind is carrying a heavy snowfall the results can be dramatic.
This was “merely” a winter nor’easter. It was not a flood or an earthquake that tore the house from its foundation. It was not a fire which consumed everything in its path. There are so many means of destruction and this latest storm was not anything like that. But still, the following morning when it was All Things Bright and Beautiful outside my spirits were low.
Hunkering down requires a lot more energy than is obvious. The house was cold and I’d retreated for many hours under warm covers. There were only a brief few minutes of outside exposure in an attempt to video nature’s power. Any exposed skin was in pain after less than three minutes. All clothing was coated in seconds of snow being driven by furious winds. There were no thoughts that movement outside was possible. Attempts at seeing the road from the house confirmed predicted whiteout conditions. The worry about the power holding was an underlying hum.
So where was next day elation that the storm had moved on? Coastal weather systems move more quickly than inland storms, especially the storms that seem to get snagged by mountain tops. Getting through the tough parts on the shore only requires steadfastness for a matter of hours because storms move rapidly when encountering the vast sea. Yet what I felt the following morning was a kind of storm hangover that had nothing to do with alcohol.
Most of us have had life experiences that required us to be fully on top of a situation. If you’ve experienced an accident or a threat you may have been surprised at your reaction after the event was resolved. Such reactions can manifest physically such as a shaking of the body or a sudden profound cold. “After” can also be manifest by reactions of the psyche, as if you understand in some recess of your being, the crisis is over and you can now let go.
We often expect too much of ourselves, denying what should be obvious, shutting down as a way to recover and letting go of the bulwark we gathered when it was needed. And those winds? I learned a few days late that a wind gust out here was clocked by someone owning an anemometer at 71 mph.
The road to self-nurture can take a lifetime. We walk it one step at a time.