The Vortex…

The Vortex…
March 1st, 2007

I’m not a person that has an easy time waking up. Nor am I someone that wakes up out of the blue…without provocation.

However, this morning was a different case. Shortly after 8 a.m. I was wide-awake as if someone had flipped a switch.

I knew today had the potential to be a very hellish day weather-wise but I had no idea just how bad it would be. I hobbled to the kitchen and poured my standard cup of black coffee and flipped on the television.

Today’s “Armageddon” was in full swing. Tornado warning number one had been issued. To the southeast of me, about ten miles, a tornado was spiraling in the clouds, attempting desperately to find its way to the Earth below.

To the southwest of me, fifty miles or so, tornado warning number two had been issued. Its path heading right for me. First things first. [I]Where[/I] is number one? Number one’s rotation was now just miles from my house. Time to take action…

Ok. Animals secured, spot in the closet prepared, panic starting to build…

Ten minutes go by and number one is still spinning in the clouds, yet to touch down. Number two is now 25 miles closer. To the northwest of me, tornado warning number three has now been issued and is tracking to the northeast.

My dogs have now begun to whine constantly and pant. From the sliding glass door I can see flocks of birds, Cowbirds, Sparrows, Doves, Crows, Vultures heading my way. The sky just a mere three miles away is pitch black and churning.

I’m spared from number one. However, number one went on to kill 15 people later in the day. Now, where is number two?

Number two is now just about 15 miles south of my house. Glued to the local news reports, I can see through my bedroom window the forest behind me beginning to whip back and forth. But as I’m preparing to hunker down in my corner of the closet, the meteorologist announces that this warning has been dropped. Within minutes, the rain had halted and the wind died down. Dodged another…

This afternoon, I had to pay a visit to my attorney. At the time, there were only two warnings, to the north and west of me. We set out in reasonably ok conditions but returning home was far less than “reasonably ok”. The wind had already picked up greatly in just two hours and as the highway took us past Mobile Bay, more warnings were announced. Number four was heading right for us…at 60mph.

Pedal to the metal and as the skies blackened, the rain came down in sheets, the warning expired, just as quickly as it had come up.

But not for long…

Fifteen minutes later, number five reared its ugly head. This one was a monster. Still racing at 60+mph. Dumping sheets of blinding and driving rain, whiting out everything, leaving you unable to see farther than 100ft. in any direction. The treetops whipped back and forth violently, cracking limbs to both sides of the highway. Gusts of wind blew what appeared to be hunks of trees and puddles of water across the road. The car shifting with each gust. Above us was a hostile and angry cell of rage and madness…tornado warning number five was growling and hungry.

Mile by mile we trudged, fearing that any second a funnel would appear to lift us up. Fearing that any second, debris might cripple the vehicle as tops of trees that had been blown down jutted out in to the lanes.

An experience I’ve only experienced once before while on the road. Taking place at night, the lightning storm was awe-inspiring but the enveloping darkness made it much worse than this. Two other times I have experienced such terrifying weather…

Hurricanes Ivan and Katrina.

As a lover of all things Nature, even though being caught underneath a raging sky scared me senseless, I still am brought to my knees by the raw passion of this planet.

Nothing is subtle…nothing is without reason…everything contains beauty. Despite the casualties…it just goes to show you, just how insignificant we are to Mother Earth…

We just do not matter to her…

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