I can’t sleep.
For once I can’t blame it on the moon or even having coffee too late in the day. Nope, this time it is Danielle’s fault. Who in frog’s name is Danielle you might be wondering? The name is Danielle, Hurricane Danielle and she is one hell of a female on a rampage. I thought that by living in Europe my time with tropical storms was long behind me. Well, Sunday night reminded me that I am indeed in the Iberian Peninsula, and things tend to be tad different here than in Central Europe. For starters, there are tropical storms.
Living on a hilltop is a one-way ticket to a windy world, no doubt about that. But combine that with rain and low-flying clouds it can be quite the drama queen. The rains are long overdue in Portugal and a welcome respite from the extended drought. However, ushering in rain on a hurricane level is a bit over the top.
I don’t need a weathervane on tope of the house because there is a huge an old walnut tree in the garden that I can see from the kitchen window that tells me exactly what the windspeed is or how hot it is. Today the wise old tree looked as it it were break dancing on steroids, swishing and lashing in all directions. At the height of the storm, I wondered with great trepidation whether one or more of the branches were about to snap off. When I went up to the roof terrace to make sure everything was secure, I had to hold on to the railing to keep my balance. I looked down at the walnut tree and wondered how we were going to make it through the day.
As of this writing, the hurricane has been downgraded to a tropical storm, but that hasn’t discourage the rains and the howling winds. I only saw one brave cat at the milk bar today, and I wondered where the others had taken shelter. No cat in its right mind would be out and about in such weather, but sometimes hunger is a force to be reckoned with and will even the greatest coward forward.
Truth be told I am exhausted and sleep deprived, but there is also something incredibly romantic about the sound of the rain on the window. I am perfectly aware that we are still in the middle of a storm, but the fact that I am safe within these ancient stone walls that I call home is reflective of how far I have come in my life. There was a time not too long ago when I bounced from one storm to another, desperately grasping to sanity and some sort of safety net. But the storms within have ceased, and I can be mindful of the raindrops on the windowpane again