It started last night, the high winds TV weather people had been warning us about. Two in the morning the roar woke me from a deep sleep. High on a bluff above Lake Michigan, tucked warmly into bed, I heard the wind. Or was it the waves. The cat jumped off the bed and streaked away. And then the power went out.
People say a tornado or a hurricane sounds like a freight train. In the dark, listening intently I could almost hear the train whistle come and go, overshadowed by the intense roar of wind and water. In the dark, not being able to see the lake, all I could do was feel it.
The vibration of the waves pounding the shore hundreds of yards away came from deep in the earth, up through the bluff, through the house footings, through the floors and up into the legs of the bed frame, through the deep mattress and into my bones.
The house sighed. I lay still. Listening. Waiting. Planning where I’d go if I had to. Considering how to find the cat in her hidden safe place.
I toured the house with a flashlight, checking windows, doors. Listening to things hit the roof, scratch the windows. Calling the cat who remained hidden. Eventually I went back to bed.
The power came back on after an hour and a half. Welcome lamp light made the roar not so ominous. Still, the lake was completely dark and sounded angry. I toured the house again, turning on lights, checking, checking. Looking for the illusive cat.
Remembering cats of years ago I pulled out her food container, shook it and called her name as I wandered. Suddenly, out of the shadows, she raced toward me calling back loudly. Silly girl. She got a tidbit or two and then we both retreated to the warm bed, doors closed against the fury of the lake.
I fell asleep to the sound and feeling of nature running wild, still wearing my glasses, cat purring on my chest. We woke an hour later to find daylight beginning to reveal the lake in all it’s mesmerizing beauty. I ventured outside but it is impossible to catch the feeling of it in still photos, the winds so strong I could barely stand upright on the lower bluff, shielding the camera from the sandblast with my body.
As the morning progresses the light changes. The water turns turquoise and navy and brilliant white. The air is clear and the island at the horizon is visible.
I glance out and see a bit of sun; careening down some of the 42 stairs to the beach I catch a brief moment when the sun slips from behind racing clouds and tips a few white caps with brilliant joy.
I don’t even care that I ran out without a coat, that the wind is bitter, the sound overwhelming, the moment brief.
I just know I am blessed to be here.