Remembering when a hurricane landed on our doorstep – Orange County Register

Whenever there are winds, I call them Hazel. Every hurricane is called Hazel, the 1954 storm that blew down a tree that covered our front porch in Virginia. Although she was a force to be reckoned with, my unfamiliar childhood mind with fear remembers a different story…

When the storm came, I was fascinated. Excited that there might be school closures, much like a snowy day, except where I lived we rarely had snow. I wasn’t afraid of the unknown. I was many things, but I wasn’t afraid.

Like many things in life at that time, the hurricane was an adventure because I didn’t associate it with fear. Climbing over the log blocking our front door became a game that I loved playing. The massive log that lay horizontal to our porch steps was a city. Branches were streets and their leaves were houses.

Carefully balanced, I could walk all over town exploring the neighborhoods. The absence of fear, something we are less and less afforded in today’s world, has created wonders. It provided an opportunity to explore without fear of what I might find.

Leaf-shaped houses where supposed families lived were pawns in my game. When Hazel puffed and puffed and knocked down that tree in front of our house, my dream of seeing the school closed for the day came true.

This was all before I learned to be afraid. Before I learned that nature can wreak havoc as well as create wildflowers. Like man, nature could destroy and create beauty. A gentle summer breeze could turn into a destructive monster. Remembering when a hurricane landed on our doorstep – Orange County Register

Adam Bradshaw

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