Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Mistral

The wind has been howling fiercely now for over two days. Over one hundred kilometers an hour. It is quite impressive and frightening. Trees are down, branches are scattered across the roads, some of my laundry is caught in my neighbor's Acacia branches. (Though, speaking of laundry, this is the perfect time to wash my down quilts as the winds dry them fast and efficiently!). From a gentle, humid, green late summer feeling last week, we have suddenly entered winter. And fall? For the moment, the leaves are more on the trees than off, but the yellow tones are coming in, and a few have gone brown. The kaki trees are at that ephemeral point of filling with their bright orange fruit, and yet still bearing leaves. In a month, they will shift to an elegant (and very appropriately Asian) state of scraggly brown branches laden with orange globes. Beautiful and startling.

As I lay my head on the pillow at night, I listen to the swirling, rushing winds out my window. In the morning, I snuggle down under my warm and protective covers, pressing my snooze button at least three times. I debate the virtue or reason for getting up. Having six children to bring to school is reason enough, granted, but... there are moments when I waver nonetheless.

I am not alone in moving slowly, rising heavily from the protective cocoon of slumber. Jonas resists, my otherwise morning-person young boarder crept out of his room at the very late hour of 7:40... We are all under the sway of this natural phenomemon.

Driving is scary -- the car wobbles as the wind hits it, and Heaven forbid I pass a truck. That swoosh of a vacuum can easily send me into a lane of oncoming traffic. I hold tightly to the steering wheel, and keep focused and present.

I've brought all my plants into the shelter of my home. They adorn the kitchen and the bathroom now. I've pulled out the winter sweaters, boots and coats -- and only last week I was wearing tank tops and sandals. There's no snow, no blizzard, but I feel as house-bound as if there was. A walk by the river, a bicycle ride around the island, things I was leaping to do just last week are on hold till the movement around me stills.

Cozy sweatshirts and sweat pants, warm and fuzzy slippers, hot coffee laced with cinnamon, and a good book (or in my case, many a writing project).

The kids have adapted. They've pulled out the dart board, and decks of cards. Calmly, they've shifted gears from tree house building. Munching away on my muffins, they're holed up in the boys' room. They've noticed the next batch of bread on the counter, and are pleased I re-stocked the fridge this morning. Just another day.


Sharyn Ekbergh said...

Here we received our first brief snow, a warning of what will come. It fell on the spectacular autumn foliage for an interesting combination.
And we have to head up the mountain tomorrow to get some last minute video for a last minute client!

Madeleine Vedel said...


We hope to get at least one snow storm. We can have cold, winds, rain, gray skies, but snow is a rarity! As such, I've worn my snow boots only twice since I bought them! Get some lovely shots in the mountains!