October 29, 2016
Its name might be the creation of the 19th century press rather than a genuine holdover from the salty dialect of Down-east Maine, but a Nor’easter is a very real and powerful meteorological phenomenon, a gale-force wind cycling in from the North Atlantic to dump its heavy burden of moisture (rain or snow) along a wide margin of the coast. Nor’easters tend not to occur in the summer months, but as the autumn deepens and temperatures fall, Maine, and most of the East coast of the US becomes vulnerable to these storms. Our first Nor’easter roared in yesterday.
Our house is a good twenty-five miles from the ocean, but when a northeast gale blows, it always seems to me that we are right on the coast, face-to-face with the powerful gray North Atlantic itself.
It’s a humbling feeling. Suddenly, staying warm, dry, and out of the wind, and keeping those you care about in that same condition, becomes the primary concern. Glowing hearths, roofs that don’t leak, tight windows, water-proof parkas, a decent pair of boots, all now are items of great worth. Life itself seems to draw inward.
Even the high heads
of the stoutest oaks are bowed–
first Northeastern gale