Thursday, November 8, 2007

Storm force 10 northwesterly winds will gradually ease to force 7 or gale force 8 overnight.

Focus has been difficult today. Locals kept talking about 'da stoorm' and now it's here. They say it's a 10 on the 'gale-force winds' scale - 12 is a hurricane - and since about 5 this morning our cement building has been pelted with branches, random objects from the construction site next door, plastic trash bins, and this odd rain/sleet/hail/snow mixture that is whirling around in circles, desperate to turn into a mini-tornado. Cars in the parking lot are dancing on their tires. Light poles are belly-dancing. The TV says gusts hit 93 mph today. Now I'm a Kansas girl and I know my wind, but this is beyond anything I've ever seen. The one tornado I've been in wasn't this loud.

The noise is a constant, low drone, spiced up every few seconds by a thumping/whirring, similar to a gigantic pinwheel. A higher-pitched huff joins in when it so desires. This along with the arbitrary smack of a gust against the building and the whistling through the tiny space between the window and its sill. These winds are in harmony; the pitches are in thirds. I've never thought wind to be melody.

I went outside earlier and attempted to video the sea. I've never seen water flow out from the shore before. It resembled a white leopard, waves in reverse, powering out to sea. The air was so fresh, with the faint scent of salt. Five minutes outside and I felt like I'd just had a facial. (There's an idea, Shetland Beauty Tours.)

No wonder there are no trees on the island.

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