I’m sure St. Brendan encountered a blizzard (well, the sea-faring equivalent) or two. It was swift, bright sailing until just after dark yesterday. I did manage to feel soaringly introspective most of the trip, helped by a mocha or two, and the friendly voices of Mat Kearney and Loreena McKennit. Kansas can be a stunning place in autumn. Just before dusk, there was a moment I wish I could have painted. I came out of a pocket of dark fog to have the skies suddenly widen. The rain storm I’d slogged through for hours gathered itself into a bright, navy line of cloud on the horizon while the sunlight fought as near to the earth as it could, turning the clouds into an opalescent canopy. The light got captured beneath it, thick, grey and gold, and it soaked into the harvested fields until they glowed up into rusty red, and this deep, wheaten yellow. I kept trying to snap pictures, but scared myself with my erratic driving and just watched instead.
But then, storms. When I had just passed the three hours from home mark, the pleasant rain patter changed abruptly into snow. Literally within ten minutes I was smack in a blizzard. Only one lane was open, I was slipping all over the place and there were four inches of snow. I will admit to being scared. Gypsy’s the pluckiest car alive, but snow is not her favorite terrain. Especially when those ridiculous semis whiz past her, shoving us off course and burying us in snow. Hundreds of miles of empty land, a wind screaming like a demon, and the snow piling up. A lot of praying got done in that half hour.
I was very thankful to make it to a motel (after finding the first one to have no vacancies). And I’m still thankful. Despite the fact that the highway is now thoroughly closed, and the electricity here dies every half hour or so. It’s amazing the sorts of panic-stricken thoughts you can think when you wake in the middle of the night to the pitch blackness of a power outage. It was about one am and people were out talking in the halls and I was very tempted to stick my head out and yell, “Ya’ll! Please. Some of us are trying to conquer our irrational panics about being stranded on the plains with no heat or light by sleeping through it all.” I didn’t though.
And now, here I am, writing to you. Strand me in snow more often and I’d probably get more blogging done. I plan to make the best of this. Read, think. Try to find some decent coffee. Maybe write for more than thirty snatched minutes. Oh, adventures. It’s like Bilbo said, you step out on the road, and you never know what’s going to happen. Good grief.