There’s a storm moving in. Hard to tell from which direction. The weather report says 70% chance of showers, risk of thunderstorms over eastern sections, rain with winds to 20km. Well, from the girl who makes it her business to know what a Beauforte 5 wind looks like there’s already been gusts well beyond 20km per hr. Just sayin’.
If you’ve never been in Woodhaven when a storm is moving in it goes something like this: First the bugs disappear at some point in the afternoon then the birds tuck away deep into the forest. The pond goes still and the first breezes sweep in under the maple turning the leaves up to bare their silver undersides. That’s when I fold up the loungers and store them against the side of the house. I leave the french doors open and close the windows in the car. I might roll up the hose if I’ve left it out and cover the barbecue if it wasn’t done the night before. I check for anything that could whip around and fly off into a window and double check that the root cellar door is secure. It’s usually dark by this time and there’s a sway of blackened trunks moving to the rhythm of an invisible mariachi band, each dancer sillouhetted against a mottled-grey sky. I watch them move until the first snapping branch drops to the ground then I head indoors. It’s all a little like Dorothy, but I’m not panicked, there’s no Toto and Aunty Em left the stage a long time ago. I peel the sparkley red slippers off my feet and put the kettle on.