As it turns out, I was able to make time to get out to the dike yesterday, and was not disappointed for having done so. The storm was still happening. I’ve done a little research, and I need to correct something I wrote in yesterday’s article: what I was walking around in yesterday was not a hurricane. Okay, I didn’t write that I was walking around in a hurricane; but I did talk about hurricane-strength winds and, at least here, we didn’t quite reach that point. The winds here were gusting to around 68 mph, which is just short of the hurricane-strength threshold of 75 mph. If my post yesterday left the wrong impression, it was not my intent to do so. Although I didn’t have the means to measure sustained winds, I know that some of the gusts that I was able to lean my body weight into were lasting for well over a minute. A bit further north from here, there were a couple of trucks that got rolled over from the wind; and around here, we had a number of trees that were affected, as well as ceramic roof tiles and construction structures getting blown loose and redistributed. A shopping mall, right behind the dike I was walking around, took damage to its roof and had to be temporarily evacuated in some parts.
My own experience was rather cool. I started up walking along the top of the dike; but decided the water wasn’t high enough to worry too much, and so I walked down to the water line and spent some time admiring the waves. At least while I was down there, I was the only person there … it felt like I had the storm and the water all to myself for a while. Walking was tricky, as the wind was blowing hard enough to knock my legs sideways while trying to step. I also had my headphones in for a short while – Pamela Bruner’s “Mist and Moonlight” for those who are curious – but despite my hood being drawn snug over my baseball cap, the wind gusts were occasionally knocking the ear buds out of my ears. I saw it as the storm’s way of playfully reminding me that I was there to be with it, and not distract myself with harp music. The keening of the winds, along with the harp music, is a wonderful combination that I can only recommend … but I got the storm’s message and took the music out. The experience was for me humbling and cathartic, a reminder how small we all are in the grand scheme of things, and just how much power the elements have at their command.
Tomorrow, they are forecasting snow :-)