Plans had been made to travel to Japan for my birthday and to be there when a new grandchild would be born and welcomed into the family and I was so very much looking forward to returning to a country I’ve always had a fascination for and having visited there while in the service.
Then the storm came. I don’t even remember the name of the hurricane that swept through but I had been paying attention to the weather, saw that – crap – it’s probably going to put a crimp in our plans, maybe might make us cancel the trip but let’s see how things go.
The storm hit us and the thing I remember was the wind and more so when I had reason to go outside after hearing what I thought was debris hitting the house. It’s one thing to be inside during such intense weather… and something else to be outside in it, virtually unprotected and, in this case, kind of dangerous.
Trees bending, threatening to break; power lines flapping in the wind – maybe they’ll hold, pretty sure they won’t. The rain was… impressive, filling the swimming pool to overflowing in just a few minutes but the wind was powerful, forceful, unrelenting.
I thought, as I fought the wind to survey things, “What am I doing out here?” The primal urge to run and hide from the wind was strong and more so when, looking to my left, I saw a neighbor’s roof starting to come apart and thinking, “This shit is getting dangerous… get your ass back inside and hunker down!”
Yet, I stood there – tried to stand there – soaked to the bone in the surprisingly warm rain but chilled by the powerful winds that threatened to literally blow me away… and it was awesome to face the wind, to feel its power and to be made to realize that there really are other things that are bigger than you are. Stronger. Relentless. Unstoppable.
I looked up at the sky; dark, brooding, threatening and laced with even darker cloud that couldn’t withstand the fury of the wind anymore than I was I could. I turned and looked back at the window that faced the backyard and my family is standing at the big picture window and gesturing to me to get my ass back inside before something blown by the wind comes along and makes an unwanted connection with me.
I remember nodding to them and thinking, “Shit, this is bad and getting worse…” and took another look around the property and with a sobering understanding that the wind is going to do what it’s gonna do and regardless to what I’d rather it didn’t do. Time to use some common sense and go inside and hope that the house continues to be proof against the raging wind.
The storm intensified. We’d lost power and I spent frantic minutes on my cell with the power company to report the outage and find out if they had crews in the area. They hadn’t known we were in the dark but had crews in the area and would be working on things… but the wind. Always the wind. I remember feeling like our ancient ancestors, hiding from the storm inside our caves, huddling for warmth and safety and I thought, as the wind rattled the big picture window and making me think that the wind would destroy it, that modern man has no real answer for the wind and our attempts to escape and shelter from its terrible power were pitiful, at best.
You can’t stop it. You can only hope to survive its fury.
“Are we gonna make it?” I was asked.
“I hope so,” I said.
The winds died down eventually and we had spent a night trying to keep ourselves both calm and occupied in the darkness as the wind howled in all of its fury… and the three of us, inexplicitly, made love several times during the storm, our lust proving to be just as powerful as the winds trying to reshape everything around us. It wasn’t just lust… it felt like we needed to do this to survive and I even managed to joke at times when the wind would shake the whole house, making it groan in response and I’d say, “Yeah, I’m really bringing the noise and shaking up the whole world – I am man, feel my awesomeness!”
Yeah, right. The women laughed their asses off and that’s what I had hoped for, that between the sex and my humor, their minds would be taken off of the storm-driven winds and the winds that I had experienced first-hand. They could hear and fear the power of the wind…
But I had felt it and had been humbled by it.
We were able to go to Japan but looking around after the hurricane had finally moved on, I was in awe by the damage left behind by the wind. Our home was intact but as far as I could see, there were many reminders of the power of wind. I understand the science of wind well enough but that understanding, I learned that day, pales when you’re literally in the wind and feeling its might and effect.