Wednesday, May 12, 2010

At the mercy of the wind

On this crooked spit of land reaching into the Atlantic Ocean, our little house braces against the wind. Today it is out of the South West; a warm wind, but blowing so hard that cool air is forced through the cracks in the walls and around each window frame. The draught from under the couch is enough to make me put on socks.

The water in the arm is whipped to froth where is comes ashore. The waves would be far too much for my canoe, but are not enough to keep the fishing boats home - there are lobster pots to haul and herring nets to check. The tractor-trailer is parked at the wharf, waiting for the fresh catch.

The wind is as loud as it is strong, drowning out the washing machine and the beeping forklift at the wharf. I'm impressed that Squeaky can sleep through it. But she sleeps so soundly I shouldn't be surprised - at four days of age, we brought her to the volunteer fire department annual dinner and dance. Her father was awarded a five-year service pin, and we had our first family dance. She slept through the whole thing.

Yesterday Squeaky and I walked to the end of the point, or at least as far as the pitted trail would allow the stroller to pass. There was no wind, except the air currents I made brushing flies away from her face. We saw two hares - or I did, anyway. At three weeks, she can't see much beyond the stroller's carriage. She slept while we walked through town, but woke up as soon as we hit the trail. We named her well. Her name means wooded or forest, and she lived up to it yesterday, wide awake and taking in all the sounds and scents of the woods, meadow and ocean. She only started to scream when we hit the pavement on the return trip. I know, Squeaky, pavement makes me cry too. 

This South West wind, warmest on the land, is the hardest on the house. When the wind is from the North East, it's another story. A fishing stage - twice the size of our little house - guards us from the worst of the Atlantic's icy breath. The wind in the chimney still whips the fire to a frenzy, but there is less draught through the floorboards so the wood stove keeps the cold away. From the South, there is nothing to ebb the wind's bracing blow and the stove that can smother us with it's output in calm weather can barely keep the chill off.

Living on the edge of the Eastern ocean, you've no choice but be in tune with the ways of the wind, the direction of the waves, the cycle of the tides, the plunging of the thermometer. Even inside our little house, the weather reaches us. It is at once refreshing to be so in touch with nature, and worrisome to be so vulnerable to the elements.

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