Friday, June 6, 2008
This is the view of the creek from my back yard. A storm is a-brewin' even though you can't really tell here. I can, though, just by looking at this. See how calm that water is? That's unheard of. Almost always there is a wind blowing; sometimes there are white caps (waves, not hats) in this creek. I've even had white caps in my yard before, but that was during a hurricane when the tide brought the creek uncomfortably close to my house. White caps in the yard are not a good thing. No indeed.
This was taken from the exact same spot, except it's looking due north (to the left) towards Deltaville. This particular storm hit them pretty hard, but barely touched us. Still, we enjoyed all the benefits. And if you didn't know it, there are benefits to storms.
I absolutely love storms. Ice storms, thunderstorms, snow storms, nor' easters, hurricanes (as long as nobody's hurt), and anything that causes--or, rather, forces--us to alter our daily habits and routines. Anything that reminds us of just how dependent we are on modern technology and how distanced we are from folks who lived only a short time ago without such luxuries, arguably on the luxuries part. A reminder that when all is said and done, no matter how much control we think we have over life, ultimately we have none.
I love these reminders.
Power outages, whether caused by storms or not, are included--and highly regarded-- in the category known as What I Love. The true, blue locals here don't refer to it as power or electricity. It's current. So, if we have an outage, my neighbor, who can trace his roots to Tangier Island, a topic for another day, will come over and say, "You got any current?" No, I don't have any current. "My current went off fifteen minutes ago." So did mine. When the lights come back on, current has been restored. And Neighbor can finally stop pacing.
We all as children loved those snow days when school was cancelled. But for whatever reason, I have not surrendered my love for such days. It goes so far as this: Even at work I will pray for a power outage (aka no current). Because no current means no computer which might mean go home early. With pay. All together now: THANK YOU, WORK GODS, for giving us this paid break from what is otherwise known as drudgery.
We interrupt this post to sidetrack because the author cannot help it, and by now her reader surely expects it. The best job I ever had was at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg the summers during college. I earned the hefty salary of $3.25/hour but could go into the park whenever I wanted, which to me was priceless. Anyway, I drove an hour and fifteen minutes one way to get to this summer job. Staffing always depended on the number of guests in the park. (I had a different word for them, and it was definitely not so favorable, particularly since I worked in The Complaint Department, which was considered the highest "honor" bestowable. When it is 100 degrees in the shade and your Complaint Line stretches to North Carolina, and 95% of those standing in that line drove from New Jersey with a family of 10, come talk to me about how that's considered a promotion.)
My supervisor, on slow days, would always come in and ask if anyone wanted or was able to leave early from their shift. I was, without fail, always the first one to volunteer. I just didn't care about the money (what was there to care about?) or the hours. Celeste, my boss, would always say, "I don't think Chesapeake Bay Woman really needs to work. I think she's just here for entertainment." Because I always volunteered to go home early. I worked because I had to, but I also gladly stopped because I wanted to dillydally and daydream and not be tied down to a stringent job. To this day, I only work part-time for that very reason. I will gladly sacrifice income to make way for life. Back to whatever I was saying, that you've probably forgotten about, as have I.
Storms and current issues (not to be confused--at all-with current events) give us an excuse not to do anything other than chill. We can't vacuum because there's no current. We can't do the marathon grass cutting required, because we might get struck by lightning. The added benefit of even a rain storm is that you can't cut grass until it dries. Sometimes that takes a good day or so.
Storms provide a legitimate excuse to procrastinate. I'm all over it.
But let's assume that you still have current, you still have all your modern luxuries, and there is no change to life as you know it. I get excited about storms because they are beautiful, exceptionally beautiful. Exquisite. Unpredictable.
A good storm takes your ordinary, mundane point of view and shakes it up a bit. I love being shaken up, as long as there's a safe landing, and for the storms I'm talking about, there usually is. The only thing shaken up is your perspective.
That, in my opinion, is a good thing.