They roll in one after another, storm after storm. November is wrapped in a howl, a shriek of wind rattling through bare branches, a froth of whitewater pounding the shore. Last night I lay awake, watched the clock blink to 3:33 as the rush of wind swirled around the house and the trees creaked and swayed. Tonight could be much the same. In the middle of the day the wind calmed, bright light tried to poke through the clouds. A little window in between, an exhalation, a lull. We stepped outside for an amble down the road and through the woods. But as the tendrils of evening began to set in, so too did the wind, first tickling at the trees and then blowing through them in great sighs. I rode the ferry back in darkness, feeling the deck shift and shudder underneath us. My truck veered sideways again and again on the rain-slicked highway, pushed by the strong gusts, and even in the black night I could see the white-capped peaks of swell after swell marching toward shore. Now tucked into the house, one small candle burning as I contemplate bed, and a staccato of rain on the windows accompanies the whirling and rushing of the gale outside. I check the current conditions again on the marine forecast, my compulsive habit. Southeast 34 knots, gusting to 42. A mighty wind blows indeed.
By tomorrow morning, there may be another eye. But by afternoon another tempest will be moving in, and Monday will follow the same pattern. The rhythm of the coast. The rhythm of November. Up in the hills this rain is a blizzard, and many an island skier is dreaming of a winter wonderland. Soon. For now my dreams will be woven with the last swirling leaves and the soundtrack of swaying evergreens, the thunk of branches torn free and cast recklessly upon the house. Time to tuck in, curl up under the quilts against the warm man beside me. The storms of winter are here.
>> These photos have nothing to do with the above contemplation, although storm watching is an increasingly popular activity on the west coast of the island. AK and I made a little journey out last weekend to soak up the wild Pacific before we both get caught up in winter in our valley and on the mountain above, both our jobs (well one of my jobs) revolving around the white stuff piling up in the hills. There was even a taste of winter to come on the drive over, winding up through the pass with rain changing to white flurries beating the windshield and snow piling up under the tires. But it was a break we needed and revelled in, even as short as it was.
Keep warm, lovelies. Winter is coming.