freezing rain

We’re being battered again today by a late winter storm. The clear blue bird skies that covered me on the bike ride home yesterday, and that glittered with the first stars of night, changed into something ominous overnight. We awoke to freezing rain and all exposed surfaces slick with a layer of ice. Biking to work this morning seemed silly. Instead I opted for a stuffy bus ride with the zombies going along with their death in life routines – I, like the rest. The soundtrack in my ears pulsed as the scenery of a port city passed in front of my field of vision. Warehouses, giant cranes, tug boats, cargo ships, and a sense that the industry is dying, decaying with the help of competition from other better outfitted ports. I stepped off the bus by a cemetery downtown across from the catholic cathedral. In the little cemetery there are thousands, buried in mass graves during times when cholera or consumption took whole families to the other side. Moss covered gravestones, weathered by the cycles of wind and snow, wind and rain, barely transmit the names of the interred.

Making my way up the slippery sidewalk with a firm grasp on the ancient wrought iron fence keeping the souls in, I feel a deep emotion running through me. I feel as if I would weep, but I can't tell if from joy or sorrow. The cold piercing wind makes me feel alive but miserable. Winter has turned from a season to a constant. The trees have been dead and leafless for so long that I wonder if they’ll have the strength to resuscitate after such a long slumber. My only hope, the thought that keeps my spirits from plumeting lower, is that after the storm passes with it will come a new swell, bringing a promise of peace as I wait for the sets in the dawn light. Tomorrow I will rise before first light and as usual make my oatmeal and coffee. My board with be waxed and leashed. My wetsuit and hot water bag ready by the front door. And the drive will seem eternal in anticipation of sliding on cold faces one more time. Surfing can have a dark side too –when we wait in despair for another go and the weather won’t comply, we sit and harbour ill feelings. And then when it comes we rejoice; in nature, in our own volition, in the full immersion of the senses, only we can never get enough and the cycle renews itself -just have to get through one more day.

Easystar Allstars doing Radiohead's Climbing up the Walls

This band will be in Halifax on Saturday night. Perhaps they are one of the better reggae bands outside of St. Croix and Jamaica at the moment.


Eric said...

waiting in despair, 28 days and counting. consider your self blessed. peace. e.

tres_arboles said...

nice dub. still looking for some one drop. played catch with my sone tonight as none of the other little leaguers wanted to practice in the rain (ficken' Seattle). we managed despite the weather. like eric, I believe we have it good. stay warm bro.



Slickmac Jackson said...

What a solice surfing brings. My brief respite from work yesterday to catch some 15sec. period swell still has a smile on my face and positive thoughts even through the shit-storm of meetings and emails that plagued me on my return to the office. It's amazing what a cleansing experience playing in the ocean can be.

Keep your head up.

one love

Mick said...

You're writing up a storm (so to speak) at the moment Ras. Lovely post and so far away from a Victorian autumn. Soon to swap places I suspect but we never get the ice...thank God.

Malcolm Johnson said...

there's hope in that, though. after every storm there's that first drop-in...