BOOM BOOM, out go the lights.
My “light blogging” hiatus was inadvertently well-planned: starting in the wee small hours of Thursday night/Friday morning, Vancouver Island sustained an extended flogging by a storm of such furious magnitude that hydro, phone lines and of course, the internets were knocked out for days.
It was savage and stunning and seemingly endless, though in Real Time the storm only went on for about 12 uninterrupted hours. But that seems like an awfully long time when you’re peering up through a skylight watching normally sedate giant firs jerk and strain and sway as the wind tears at their boughs. Massive branches were ripped from convulsing trees and hurled around like kindling. Hydro wires twitched and strained and snapped and transformers exploded in sparkly cascades of blue and white, even as they were lashed by torrents of rain that seemed to be falling sideways. The crashing surf tossed some boats ashore like driftwood and sunk others. It was a heavy scene: kind of an “End Times” riff, but without the fundies soaring heavenward.
No biggie, I have lots of candles and a wood stove. Power was for the most part restored by Saturday night, the internets were up and running intermittently yesterday, and I’m happy to report that no trees fell on my house, or my vehicle, or me. But not everyone was so lucky: Imagine waking up to that cruel scenario. It does happen occasionally: once I emerged from the house to find my driveway blocked by two(2) fallen trees. First there’s the initial dumb shock of seeing big trees in places where they aren’t supposed to be, similar to what it must be like to hear your dog ask for its dinner in perfect, BBC-accented English. The next response is giddy relief that nothing was sitting in the path of destruction. (Then “Wheee! No work today.”)
Apart from a few unfortunate houses, cars and boats, most of the damage was more like this:
But once in awhile it’s not a bad thing to be completely isolated without any means of communication but word of panicked mouth — the old survival instinct kicks in and everyone gets a little friendlier. The clean-up means major bonfires all week long with appropriately-supersized beers. And since I have no idea what’s been happening in the world outside this neighbourhood for the last few days, I wouldn’t be surprised if my blood pressure has dropped to a more acceptable level. Maybe that’s the silver lining in Friday’s storm-ravaged cloud.