Wednesday, May 30, 2012

storms and superstitions

Yesterday the storm came in like a wolf crashing through a glass door. Sudden, violent, and sprays of water and power everywhere. I was out behind the goat pen thinking about the particulars of a Midsummer Bonfire when I looked up at the clouds swirling low in circles. It was scary.

I live middle-elevation on the east side of a small mountain. I get to see beautiful sunrises, but sunsets belong to the west and in the winter darkness starts to fall around 3PM. Since most summer storms come from the west I don't feel or see them until they suddenly burst through the trees and down into the open pastures.

Yesterday I was caught off guard and nervous, since the weathermen were predicting random tornados. As clouds of pollen and leaves swirled, trees whipped, branches fell I ran inside. But don't think for a second I didn't take protective measures. Of course I had extra water, batteries, flashlights and candles for the power outage that would surely come (and did), I mean PROTECTION. I mean, something a little more encompassing than a flashlight.

I'm a superstitious person, always have been. I was raised in a home where ghosts, angels, saints, and saviors were very real things. Water turned to wine at a priest's spoken word and my slovak grandmother taught me to never kill a spider in a house. So in that tradition of cultural wisdom I did the old Three-Branched-Cross on the farmhouse door. I took a branch of Birch, Basil, and garlic prong and tied them to a cross on the front door. Any cross will do. You can tie these plants to a crucifix or tied two equal-armed branches together with twine. I took the braided and tied Brigid's Cross off my wall indoors and tied the herbs to that. It seemed proper. Brigid is both a Catholic Saint and a Celtic Goddess. She protects, blesses, and heals. I hung the cross and branches from the farmhouse door and said a prayer and let authorities higher than my own decide if it was Ancient Goddess, Saint, or Savior in charge of the tornado averting.

I will say this. I felt safe indoors and no damage came to this home. No animals were hurt or crops torn and bent, and just down the hill trees fell in yards and power-lines burst. I'm not saying it was divine intervention, but I am saying it never hurts to ask. And if you have birch, basil, and garlic nearby - a cross and some twine, it sure beats calling the insurance agent.


Blogger Elizabeth from the Berkshires said...

Tornadoes scare the ever-living stuff out of me. So very glad you and yours were safe. Actually, thunderstorms scare me pretty bad, too.

Did you know you can get set up with to send you severe weather alerts to your cell phone as text messages? At least it's harder for things to just spring on you.

May 30, 2012 at 8:41 PM  
Blogger Sewing Machine Girl said...

I like too. I check everything looking for the next rain.

May 30, 2012 at 9:06 PM  
Blogger Lara said...

Slept many nights in the basement due to tornado likelihood and had some close calls...they are frightening.

But I loved the thunder in your video.

May 30, 2012 at 9:31 PM  
Blogger Mindy Smith said...

Ah superstitious Catholic moms. I have also been known to mark and make crosses in times of peril. Here's another one (that has actually worked on three occasions including my wedding): put a well-worn and well-loved string of Rosary beads on a bush or tree in front of your home and say a little prayer (informal or formal - doesn't seem to matter) if you're hoping for sunshine on a particular day. Seems to work like a charm.

May 30, 2012 at 9:48 PM  
Anonymous Walter said...

When we moved here the Commander demanded either a house with a basement or a storm shelter. It's steel and bolted to the garage floor (what real American keeps a car in a garage, anyway)? is great so long as the power is on and the cell towers up. We lack NWS coverage here because the antenna was damaged and not repaired. The point is technology is frail. Learn to trust what you have: your weather eye, your animals, and the hair on the back of your neck.

May 30, 2012 at 9:49 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

"come in, she said, I'll give ya shelter from the storm"... Sorry the lyrics just popped in my head... I think you're "superstition" is more smart than silly. You have some great power in you girl! Very glad you & yours stayed safe~

May 30, 2012 at 9:53 PM  
Blogger Alison said...

That's one of the things I miss about the 19th-century farmhouse I grew up in. Whenever in the grips of my tornado phobia, I could reassure myself that the house had been there for 150 years; obviously it was either placed right or built well enough to survive a century and a half of tornadoes It wasn't going anywhere that day!

May 30, 2012 at 10:45 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth from the Berkshires said...

@Walter, excellent point. Believe me, I had my eye on the sky as well as my cell phone in my pocket. I'll take every avenue of protection that works in my area. :)

May 31, 2012 at 6:58 AM  
Blogger Debi said...

The weather just keeps getting stranger all the time! I was 22 yrs old(1995),before we experienced our first micrburst in NNY. Up until then, weather events like that were practically unheard of, now they seem to be all too common. A guy I went to school with posted a video of the massive hail storm in Lake George, it was worse than anything I've yet to see here in Ky, where hail and tornadoes are regular visitors.

I love the idea of placing Brigid's cross on the door. I always perform a Reiki blessing before a big storm(especially one calling for tornadoes), the cross would be a nice accompaniment to that.

I know your basement is prone to flooding, but if you can get down there with the critters when you get storms like that, you'd all be much safer.

Glad you made it through with no damage, and everyone intact. :)

May 31, 2012 at 11:36 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

I love this blog and it's community.

May 31, 2012 at 1:57 PM  
Anonymous Charlotte Tree Removal said...

From the sound of it, your town was really in danger from this storm! How long was it till the power lines were fixed? How big were the trees that fell on them? Just curious if they were hundreds of years old or little ones.

-Tony Salmeron

May 31, 2012 at 3:05 PM  

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