Stormy Weather


My word for the year “light” has already proven a constant quest and comfort in this first month of 2019. In the last 30 days I’ve experienced an eight-hour power outage during an ice storm with high winds, and the coldest day of my life so far, at minus 14 with wind chills of 42 below. And through it all I’ve relied on beacons of light and rays of warmth from my neighbors and my own stash full of flashlights and candles.

With weather like this, I’m grateful for a gas stove, small house and good windows. Back in the suburbs, everyone could easily become isolated inside their own personal igloos, garages shut tight and windows hidden in the back. This time, after about five hours in with no power, a welcome knock at my door from community members ready to hook up a generator to run my furnace in the pitch black with howling winds was a mission of love and sacrifice. I felt safe for one of the first times in my life because many cared enough to check on me since I was home alone for that particular storm.

I fear that weather and life will grow more extreme in the months and years to come, causing old systems to crumble as they become unsustainable. We can no longer afford to remain isolated in our private worlds with carefully segregated daily routines. Connection and community with our chosen families, neighborhoods, towns, cities, country and world is crucial to surviving the big shifts and fearful uncertainty that are looming in the shadows. We all have something to share, gifts and talents that will help us weather the storms together as we stoke the fires of caring and cooperation to warm our hearts and keep the lights on.

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4 thoughts on “Stormy Weather

  1. Linda

    Your writing rings true with how we are all segregated in our homes. I am sorry for your frigid experience — but you had a great neighbor to help out!

    One I f the wonderful byproducts of us acquiring a dog about 6 year ago was it reconnected me with my neighbors when I walked him several times a day— I found out more about them and what was happening in their lives— since our dog died 4 months ago I’ve lost touch with most of them — but being I. The same neighborhood for 30 years most of the neighbors know we will help them out in a pinch— and likewise — and that is comforting. We have a generator and. We reach out to some of them if they need to shower or whatever if the electric is out or to have their kids that have homework come do it by lights instead of flashlights and candles— it doesn’t happen often — but it does happen— and we are all on well water so with out electric that’s affected.

    Sometime I used to visualize sharing equipment— why does every family have to have a chain saw, etc… then everyone wouldn’t have to buy one..

    My step daughter lives in Dallas — and her entire neighborhoods backyards have those big privacy fences— her husband came here this summer and said — wow everyone’s yard is open there’s no fences hardly — and no huge privacy fences where you do t even see your neighbor ever. I think I would hate that.

    Another thoughtful writing Tamara— I enjoy as always

    1. Thank you for your insights, Linda. I know you and your husband are there to share what you have. Your neighbors are lucky to have you nearby. It’s my greatest wish that we are all here for each other in times of need. What life’s all about!

  2. I am so sorry to hear that you had to endure that storm alone — and without power. What a horrible experience! God bless such neighbors! The photo above seems to me somewhat nightmarish, a bit like someone pulled reality like taffy and this image was the result. The distortion of the light is to me the visual version of your post, an expression of that aloneness in the storm. Really good!

    1. Thank you, Maureen. This experience was much more positive than the three-day polar vortex ordeal we had to endure in 2014. Having a gas stove and/or a generator really helps give me a feeling of security and control. I’ve spent many hours this winter looking out the window at this view!

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