Having been born upon a warm speck of an island, Jeb’s ten years in Hawaii have exposed him little to temperatures below 70 degrees Fahrenheit. He’s seen snow twice in his lifetime and has never heard of an electric blanket (“You plug in a blanket? Why?”). His greatest exposure to any “real” winter has been limited to holidays in the climes of California.
So when a “cold” snap came through our island last night, cooling the air with some dramatic winds, we all feebly slipped on socks and shivered. The temperature gauge read about 63.
“Mom, it’s so cold in my room right now.”
“I know, it’s a little chilly tonight.”
“No, I mean it’s really cold. It’s cold like California.”
The whipping winds of yesterday have come to a complete standstill. Nothing moves. I kick off bed sheets in my sleep, as we rest in the thick air of an island petri dish paused in surreal calm.
All is silent but for the faint sound of crickets in the pre-dawn dark, and the occasional rooster ricocheting calls from the tops of motionless trees.
So much can change so quickly, just look at the weather.
In my last posting, I bemoaned a broken water pump at our new abode, while watching trees bent sideways from wild gusts. Within 24 hours, I am in a new setting. Water flows from the tap. The air hangs stagnant.
With the water pump fixed yesterday, I got to do chores. Like four loads of laundry. Three piles of dishes (hot, sudsy water, all the while). I wiped away years of black film from behind the refrigerator. There was even joy in cleaning someone else’s left-behind grime. Because I could. Oh, the delight of running water!
All day I drank glassfuls of precious liquid. Some with lemon. Some with fresh mint. Some glasses, just plain, fresh water.
Now, with the winds so dramatically stilled, this morning’s pregnant pause is full of mystery.
Water still runs from the tap. I have more cleaning plans in store. But then there’s the weather. Sort of solely in charge. We are vulnerable, despite extended forecasts. I am humbled in the mystique of this stillness.
One thing I love about travel is being able to live the lines where similar and different blur. Seems no matter where you go, there are things that are the same all over, yet often expressed in just a little different way.
A change of scenery, seeing the familiar in new settings, offers fresh perspectives. We view ourselves and the world from new angles.
Since these shots were taken on our recent trip to Chicago, I can’t help but think of those in the mid-west, recently affected by the severe weather of over 80 tornadoes. When we checked in with our friends who live there, they told us they’d decided to harness the gusts and get in an end-of-the-season windsurfing session in.
Not everyone was able to play.
Today I send good wishes, peace, ease, and speedy recovery to all of those impacted by the storm. May we all remain humble in the face of Mother Nature and stay grateful for all the precious things.