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Nearheart and the Nor'easter
At the inner door of their two-car garage, warmth at her back, cold in her face, Nearheart stood staring. Both spaces were empty, her husband out looking for work, her own car sold that morning. A slight stain on the concrete marked where oil had leaked from hers.
If she wanted to go anywhere (and she did, almost desparately) it would be with her own locomotion, out into a storm that had stopped dropping snow but still punished the coast with a mercilessly frigid lambasting of wind.
Thoughts of their cozy Toronto apartment brought tears to her eyes as she dressed for her walk. There if you needed an airing and you lacked your own transport, you simply took taxis or buses or the subway to cafes or theatres or to get your hair done or to buy a new dress. A new dress! Now that would have lifted the iron curtain from the stage of her spirits.
Instead she pulled on long johns, trousers and snow pants. Even the freedom of an old dress was denied her, as she was not about to let that weather up her legs no thank you sir.
As long as she was talking to the elements, she had a few other things on her mind that she wanted to add, which she did as she entered the blast, though she was glad no one else could hear because the language she used was the worst she could summon.
At the edge of the sea, however, something unexpected happened. The turmoil she witnessed took her back to the past when she had visited Nepal as a student and been driven to the mountains over roads so severe they had bruised her and shaken all the contents from her pockets. She had had to be helped to the cave she was visiting, where a famous Buddhist hermit had meditated on the nature of reality centuries before. She found herself quite unable to meditate because her bottom was too sore and her nerves too on edge. She hoped that something of the saint's enlightenment would bleed through to her anyway, but instead all that kept her awake in the shadowy confines was the old woman who tended the candles that burned on the altar. The memory of her colorful costume, her careful movements and dedication were that long-ago student's only surviving souvenirs.
Until now. Now as she reflected on her time in the cave, and on the chaos in the water and her life, a silence intervened. Though the wind roared and the ocean boomed and the very granite vibrated underfoot, it was as if a dream had taken off its mask and let the emptiness underneath be revealed.
She stayed a while longer, as long as she could bear it. And even smiled, though her face was too frozen to show it.
1 February 2022
Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia
Keywords:atlantic, canada, clouds, coast, cove, crashing, dramatic, granite, north, nova, ocean, peggy's, rocks, scotia, sea, sky, snowy, spray, stormy, sunset, surf, water, waves, winter