This is a photo of the west side of the island after last weekend’s storm. I was away for four days, on a neighboring island, at our annual Imbolc Mermaid Retreat. When we arrived at the camp to check in, we were surprised to find no one staffing the office. They had left us a key and a ziplock bag marked Emergency Storm Kit. Inside was a flashlight, batteries, and a couple of candles with a note that read: “70 MPH winds expected. Have fun.” OK! Little did they know how many candles we had brought with us!
As it turned out, we were sheltered from the storm on the island’s northwest edge; the gale-force winds blew in from the southeast and moved around to the southwest. Our cabin was right on the beach and we were all a bit nervous on Friday, knowing the storm was due to blast in on Saturday. So we circled up, called the last mermaid sister to us, and spoke to the four directions (plus the southeast) asking for the storm to energize us but not to hurt us. Blast in it did, but we were safe and cozy and grateful. High tide came right up to the edge of our deck; at one point I was sitting in an easy chair next to the wood stove, looking through the window and realizing I was sitting about six feet from the water!
When I got home on Monday, Craig regaled me with tales of the storm and showed me the video he shot of huge waves crashing over the road where we walk every day. Logs and driftwood were thrown across the beach and road into the adjoining cow pasture. For the first time in anyone’s memory, our little 20-car ferry was stuck in the middle of the passage for a couple of hours on Saturday because the waves were too rough for the captain to risk docking on either side.
The last few days have been sunny, serene and brisk. We’re grateful there was no major damage and no one hurt. The Cleansing Tide has changed the landscape of our daily walks and given the county engineers some more work to do. Gulls still shriek, sandpipers dive low, crows cackle and red-winged blackbirds sing of the coming of Spring.