Part of Island life is the ever-present awareness of the weather. I had an inkling that a storm was heading up the coast, but it was in Reliable Market this afternoon that I knew it was something to take seriously. Patrons were talking about stocking up. Sustained winds of 50 knots per hour or more with wind gusts greater than 50 kph are predicted. Time to lay in water, batteries, gas in the car, phone charged, laptop charges, emergency candles, medical kit, extra wood for the fireplace or wood stove if that’s an option, canned foods, can, and cash. It’s hard to get cash out of an ATM during a power failure. This familiar drill includes checking in with friends on higher grounds to see if they are accepting stranded evacuees should evacuation be required; the community safety net at the elementary school is best left to the more adventurous.
Yet, the piece of Island mystery that keeps it’s ardent fans loyal is that, despite lying in the path of an oncoming storm, hours before the clouds move in, we were treated to a spectacular sunset. I caught a glimpse of the last, long rays of light as they illuminated the trees in the Methodist Campgrounds. Most of the gingerbread cottages are closed tight, boarded up for the season. Ready to weather any wrath Mother Nature chooses to throw at them. However, the blessed evening light finds a way to imbue the cottages with color and warmth and a hard-earned charm. In that moment, when the dying light kisses the last of the autumn leaves, the threat of an autumn Nor’Easter seems a long way off.