Sunday, July 18, 2010

Tent Collapse! and Karma

Around age eight, I developed an intense and irrational fear of strong weather. My third grade teacher, Mrs. Mattingly, recently reminded me that on day one, I requested to sit far away from the window as to avoid proximity to stormy weather. Sometimes, even subtle rain showers would compel me to retreat to the basement. I'm not sure how this phobia evolved, but I imagine it had something to do with the Principal of summer school making very deliberate and serious announcements over the intercom every time a tornado watch was declared for my area (which basically happens any time it's cloudy in the spring in the midwest) and instructing teachers to "open the windows a crack" to offer relief from the sheer force of gusty winds on the building walls.

I have long since overcome the irrational part of this fear- I no longer cower at clouds. However, truly strong midwest storms still rank amongst my biggest fears. On the second evening of my stay at Dancing Rabbit, my tent/tarp structure kept me bone dry during a particularly wicked thunderstorm. "How reassuring." I thought to myself, and I suspended my fear of strong weather for the summer.

There is one grown woman here who, having grown up outside Tornado alley, is particularly afraid of storms. Usually, I sympathize. But last night when she was begging my friends and I to stay with her in her home because of the slight chance of a strong storm, I commented, "Get over it. You'll be fine. It's not even gonna storm." Indeed, Karma arrived to kick my ass when the storm arrived about 5:30 this morning, beginning with what seemed like an innocent rain shower but evolving into total Zeus-vengeance and spastic gusts of wind which snapped a pole in my tent, causing the entire tent apparatus- tarp included- to collapse on top of me. Buried in a sea of swirling nylon, illuminated by the lightening that flashed around me like a synapsing brain, I thought, "Wow. This is really happening." For about a thirty seconds I just crouched in a ball, waiting for the right moment to bolt to the nearest building. When that moment arrived, I fled shoeless and shirtless to Ironweed Kitchen.

Moments later, an equally drenched Sandy (my French co-worker) arrived at the kitchen. Gesturing with a sweeping motion of her hands, she proclaimed, "Zee tahnt..." Yes. The tent. Fortunately for her, her tent managed to stay mostly up. In my wanderings around the village since, I've found several others who experienced a similar fate.

Fortunately, all is well. My stuff is still mostly dry. The storm has subdued, and I've gotta find a new pole.

No comments:

Post a Comment