Storms

It occurred to me while I was rounding up interesting news for the day that my comment about storms might seem a bit juvenile, so I thought I should expand upon why I love storms so much.

I am fully aware that storms can be devastating. They can cause epic amounts of damage to homes and businesses, they can kill people, they can completely mess up communities. That is really not a good thing, and that is certainly not something I would say “wahoo” about. I am a firm supporter of community preparation for dangerous storms, along with prompt emergency response to storm situations which are obviously going badly.

That said, there is something about storms which is deeply enjoyable. I love being snug inside during a storm, listening to howling wind and rain. I love the trees whipping in the weather, the rain lashing the window, the creaking of the house as it groans and settles in the storm. I also like going outside and braving the elements, especially when it’s so rainy that you can barely see in front of you, and when torrents of water flood the streets, creating turbid brown streams. I love waking up in a storm and hearing the weather.

When the power is on during a storm, it provides a sense of pleasant smugness for me. But it’s also fun when the power goes out, creating a snow day of sorts. I like the feeling of being powerless to work or do anything “productive,” as it forces me to do things like play board games with friends, knit, read, and work on projects around the house. I also greatly enjoy the sense of silence which settles over the town, as people can’t really make that much noise when they don’t have the power to do it, unless they have generators. I understand the desire to use a generator, but I really loathe them.

It’s also interesting to see what happens as people start to realize that their food is going bad. Dinner parties happen. People do silly things to use up food. I remember one year, Mr. Bell was crowned as King of Caspar, in a ceremony which included a ceremonial anointing with beer. This sense of community suddenly arises in a community which seems to consist of people who are ever more isolated from each other. People bust out their rare cheese collections and you learn who is good at Scrabble.

After the storm is almost as fun. It’s fun to go to the beach and see what got tossed up, and it’s interesting to stroll around the neighborhood and explore the damage. Commonly, people come out and compare notes, and there’s a sense of community, a shared pleasure in making it through. People also tend to land a hand with things like repairing structures and removing detritus from gardens, and I like to see that.

I feel like our winter weather has not been as severe the last few years. Perhaps that is simply because weather is cyclical, or maybe it’s because the elements have been storing up a doozy for us. If I vanish for a couple of days…you’ll know why; I’ll be out playing in the weather while the power’s out.