Storm winds visited us recently. At four a.m. I woke to darkness within and an odd pressure without. Moving to the front of the house, I watch and listen as trees bend in half, windows rattle and walls shake. My bare feet step in the cold water of a small puddle. Wind has pushed rain under the door. I push back with a large towel. Husband and the children, in the newer part of the house, slumber on. I too climb under the duvet and huddle, waiting for the storm to pass.
The winds eventually die away; the rain remains a steady drizzle. Tree limbs litter our yard, lay across power lines in the alley. Rain has flooded our street, and my car. We don slickers and walk the neighborhood. Many streets are blocked. Here an ancient tree has shattered. There a tall cedar, a warrior in its prime, has fallen. I bend over to touch it, pay my respects. When I leave, I take a branch fragment with me, cones still green.
Everywhere we look, we see downed trees. On the corner four streets away, we see a roof line cloven in two, people packing their car to seek shelter elsewhere. Could have been worse, we all say to each other.
In the rain, we clear our yard, and yards adjacent. We stack limbs and branches, rake up loose pieces, sweep the road of leaves and pine needles. Then we lay down our rakes and walk some more.
It will take time to survey the full extent of the damage. For now, we walk and as we walk, sometimes our hands bump.