27 Aug but sometimes, she roars…
Part of being human is understanding that we exist on a living, breathing, sometimes raging, ever changing planet. I try to always remember and respect this fact.
I was seven years old when Mount St. Helens erupted.
We lived just north of Seattle at the time, a little more than 100 miles from the volcano. I remember very little about the eruption. I was kind of oblivious when I was little, off in my own little world of trees and magic and fairies and forts and hideouts.
There was a lot of talk about the volcano, the ash cloud, the complete and total destruction of Spirit Lake, but most of what I “recall” about the actual eruption is actually what I learned later.
When I was nine my family moved to the California desert. Our new home was on the shifting sands of the Coachella Valley, near the San Andreas Fault.
I experienced my first big quake when I was 12. It was both exhilarating and terrifying. There is something very disconcerting about your “perceived” solid ground suddenly shifting beneath your feet, moving in waves and trying to knock you down. I knew what to do, and I knew what was happening, we’d just studied plate tectonics in my science class. As my mother and I took shelter in our hallway closet I calmly explained what the waves felt like and waited for the shaking to stop.
I spent the rest of the day in bed. I was dizzy and off balance, motion sick thanks to the shaking of earth, and each aftershock which sent us back to the closet brought on a new wave of sickness.
There were more earthquakes, both big and small, both in California and back in my home state of Washington. I got “used to” them, developing a bit of a sense about them, often hearing them coming before the shaking even started.
Earthquakes were just part of living on the west coast.
In my mid-twenties I moved to Kentucky and experienced my first funnel cloud. I was perhaps a bit too fascinated by the swirling clouds above our apartment complex.
The awesome strength of nature never ceases to amaze me.
Wind, Fire, Water, Land.
Mother Nature is both gentle and fierce.
Today, 100 miles from downtown Houston, sitting directly under the arm of Hurricane Harvey, on what they call “the dirty side” of the hurricane, we are watching the rain come down in sheets.
It has been pouring nearly non-stop since last evening, along with hefty gusts of wind with an occasional howl, and a tornado warning. We’ve been watching the news, keeping in contact with friends closer to Houston, eating the ridiculously good chocolate cake I baked yesterday, and watching my baby learn to walk. He’s getting really good. Five solid steps in a row before plopping down on his wee bum.
We are safe. We are dry. We have electricity.
We can still see the sidewalk outside our apartment window. And though some of our roads are definitely flooded, it is nothing like what is happening an hour or so south of us.
The Power of Nature.
I ache for those who have lost their homes. Those who have left with only a plastic bag of their belongings, wading through water waist high, or evacuated in boats to higher ground. I am grateful for the family and friends who left before the storms hit. I am grateful for the people who have checked in with me to make sure we are safe and sound.