Here on the coast we have been enjoying milder than usual weather in the late fall with only a few days of frost. The November rains didn’t really materialize and then decided to put on a show in December with some torrential downpours!
The one thing we were not really expecting was the windstorms that accompanied the rain. We seldom get winds in excess of 100 km/hour and when we do, there is usually a lot of damage to power lines due to falling trees.
The storm that hit on Thursday was no exception, snapping unsuspecting fir trees like twigs and uprooting others. The lack of power throughout Vancouver Island created havoc with Christmas shoppers with many stores without power and traffic snarled with traffic lights out of commission.
Two days after the storm, 120,000 homes on Vancouver Island were still without power and for many, it will be a few days more. Amid all of this chaos we must be grateful. Yes, we were cold and uncomfortable, ferries and flights were cancelled or delayed causing havoc with Christmas travel but only one life was lost due to the storm. Many houses were damaged, some beyond repair.
We had hydro crews working around the clock in anything but pleasant weather, neighbours came out to assist, offering food and shelter for those affected. It forced us off of the electronics as internet connections were gone with the lack of power and charging the devices was an issue. It created solitude, a time to reflect and to interact, perhaps with those with whom we seldom make the time.
I am grateful for the time with my wife, in front of the fire, laughing at ourselves, bundled up like Eskimos trying to stay warm. Also grateful to our good friends who invited us to their house, which had power, for company and a meal. A bit of Introvert heaven.
I was not looking forward to Christmas this year. There is nothing I want or need for myself. This weather diversion created Christmas for me, gifting me what was important.
Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas. I hope that everyone finds their Christmas, whatever its gift looks like for you.
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