Sunday, December 22, 2013

Storms and Panic and Knitting

We were hit with the worst ice storm since 1998. It wasn't nearly as bad, but it is bad enough. I'm hearing trees crack, split, crash with a groan. Seeing the white ends of what were once healthy trees, bright even in the dark. Skyline is flashing with blown transformers. Constant sirens from ambulances, police cars, fire trucks. Earlier people were getting power back, the travel ban (yes, not an advisory, a ban. an emergency-only-otherwise-$500-ticket ban) was lifted. It was warming up just enough to be outside and start to clean up. Sleet last night added more ice coating, but you could walk around normally. You start to think that things are doing ok, Monday can start normally again. Tonight, I stood out on the road just watching and listening to it all. Seeing all the poor trees bent and coated with an inch of ice (or more). Trees that were full and lush in the summer looking so sad and limp. Cars parking in places normally bare to avoid being hit by all those falling limbs. It made my heart hurt. I went through that storm in '98. It was scary, but I was at home with my parents. Now as an adult, it's so much scarier. There isn't anyone you can turn to to make it better. To make it go away. The storm has ended, but it is also only beginning and that is terrifying. You realize just how helpless you really are against nature (I know anyone who has suffered through a natural disaster gets it). Despite all the "marvels" of the current age, we can still fall victim to something as simple as frozen water. Our walls, our lights, our ice scrapers are nothing compared to what a minor breeze can do right now. As I stood out there, turning towards each new fallen limb, I could see curtains twitching from other people looking out as well. I know I'm not alone, that I'm not the only one feeling anxiety over this mess. I know it could have been MUCH worse for us. But still I feel helpless, I still feel afraid, and I feel so small. My daughter hasn't really questioned much about it, she's looked outside at the weather but otherwise treating it like any other bad weather day. And I look at her and am reminded that it is now my turn to take care of things. To make things "ok" for her. What will happen come tomorrow? I don't know. But right now, we are safe, we are warm, and we have a support team of professionals out there now helping those in need. Thank you to all of our emergency responders, the line workers, the plow drivers, to everyone who just walked over and checked in on a neighbor. Thank you to everyone who is helping out in whatever way they can, be they small gestures or large. I can do none of that, so I will sit and knit and not get in your way.