My attention has turned to the weather. If only we had not planted in mid August, the seeds would not have died and the rain falling now would be nourishing the new pasture coming up…if only. The sheep are hiding in the barn. No one is moving in the paddocks. Kitty is saturated, meowing at the window. Hank has taken over my place in the bed and I am cosy in my fluffy housecoat. I love gentle rainy days in the fall of the year.
But I have known how it is to live with weather that visits you with harsh winds and rain often. It plays with you as it comes and goes, moving in and out to sea. And you wait.
The women of Shetland write: “We are having heavy rain and gales just now. Dark and miserable, but I suppose since it is winter, we can’t complain. I have been knitting two jumpers.”
“I have been so busy. We have just finished the harvest, with a good crop of vegetables. I was glad to get out of the fields before a persistent gale came from the southeast with lashing of rain. Now the ground is sodden, but it’s certainly not cold.”
“You will have heard about the calamity of the oil tanker aground at Sumburgh. It’s surely a dreadful mess.”
“We are well here. It is very wintery today, gales, and cold rain. I have a peat fire on and it is warm, sitting writing. I am knitting one or two small presents for Christmas as it is getting so near, and I have baked my Christmas cake.”
“November so far has been quite wonderful, most days no wind and lots of sunshine. Unfortunately, on the two occasions when the wind gusted gale force, two klondyker vessels went aground. One we can see from our windows, at Bressay lighthouse, the other is on a rock north of Lerwick. There were sixty and seventy-five crew all rescued by helicopter and lifeboat in the darkness of the night. It was a very dangerous mission.”(Feitelson:The Art of Fair Isle Knitting)
I remember in February of 1982 when the Ocean Ranger, the off shore oil rig, went down to the bottom of the sea along with its 84 crew members on a stormy night off the Grand Banks of Newfoundland. We were devastated and waited throughout the night for any news of hope. Newfoundland, an island, has always had a strong sense of identity and disasters at sea was felt strongly by all. I lost a friend and fellow worker who was on duty that night as a nurse. They send the rescue helicopters and boats out but they all came back empty.