Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Hurricanes are fascinating to me and yes, my respect for their force is quite healthy. There is a pattern or rhythm to hurricanes – silence, force, silence, destruction and life. It is a dance, It is a dance, however, in which nature is the DJ and the choice of music is all hers.

Right before landfall everything goes silent. I remember scanning the sky with squinted eyes looking for just one bird. I remember standing as still as I could trying to hear just one chirp, one song but there were none. Even at night I do not remember the earth so silent. And when the limbs, where the silence has hidden, begin to dance, you know it is time for you to also take shelter.

The hurricane’s initial force is clock wise. The path of winds moving on shore creates a line dance resembling show dancers kicking their legs in the same direction. Once the initial circle of winds have passed, the silence returns. They eye of the hurricane takes the initial pre land fall silence to an even deeper level. What hasn’t snapped, cracked, fallen or been crushed is now bent or leaning in the clockwise direction of the initial winds. Nothing moves.

When the eye of the hurricane moves beyond you, the back of the hurricane’s circle of power now comes full force but this time in a counter clockwise direction. The trees firmly rooted because they’ve learned to bend are now snapped back in the opposite direction. No time to stretch and find their center. No time to let the weight of the rain and wind dry in the summer sun. The fury of the hurricane hits them head on from the opposite direction. Destruction if they cannot steady their bend. Perhaps it is because the eye was so silent that the back side of the hurricane seems louder, more powerful, angrier.

And with the all clear, the force now gone, you see the birds and hear their songs. People, like kicking an ant hill, come scurrying out of their homes to survey the damage. The world is full of chatter, songs, prayers of thanksgiving and sorrow, stories are told and legends are made.

Almost a thousand miles from the threat of a hurricane, there are days when I feel like one is coming ashore. I board my windows and pick up any objects the wind can turn into weapons of destruction. I sit and wait. I sit in the silence. I feel the force of life coming at me in one direction. I catch my breath in silence and brace for the counter attack. But, when all has passed, the storm abated, I hear your song keeper of my heart and breath. I have become the tree offering refuge for you. You, with a firm hold upon my hands and using the strength of your wings but not taking flight, steadied my bend. In the silence I whisper to you “fear not, I am here”. During the force your embrace and grip whisper back “fear not I am here.” And with the last silence comes our song together, “fear not, we are here. Life.”