As I type a heavy gust has slammed into the starboard side of the boat and we violently heel to the port. Instinctively I lean my body to counter the sudden movement and quickly glance at my mug of Lemon and Ginger tea to check it isn't spilling. All is well.
Around me the noise crescendos with the halyards flogging on the mast and the wind howling through the rigging surrounding us. It's all discordantly tuneful and I'm used to it. The fierceness of the gust eases as quickly as it arrived and the boat rocks back to her upright position with a couple of slight wobbles before she settles. My body easily rides these subtle movements. A screaming whistle from far away tells me that another gust is on its way and seconds later we are thumped again by the invisible force of the powerful wind.
Storm Henry is now on his way north, dissipating as he trundles across the ocean towards the Arctic Circle. Before him Gertrude paid us a visit a few days earlier and before her it was Frank who dropped by. Frank was particularly devastating for much of the country and we were glad to see the back of him.
Our stormy visitors arrive uninvited but not unexpected. We see them girding their loins way out west in the Atlantic, their deepening low pressure and their isobars ferociously narrowing as they relentlessly trundle towards us. They turn away from landfall at the last minute almost as if ensuring that the maximum force of their accompanying gales will hammer our coastal landscapes. The rain they carry with them is mercilessly dumped in almost Biblical deluges which our natural watercourses cannot cope with. Each time we find ourselves hunkering down, battening the hatches and clearing up afterwards - like cleaning the living room after a particularly boisterous party.
These are natural events which it seems are becoming more prevalent. A consequence of the poor care of our planetary life systems. We are reaping what we have sowed and as such, really, we cannot complain. It is not a case of nature pitting herself against humanity or us fighting back to survive the wrath of her dark moods. It is a case of us living with the consequences of many generations of Human mismanagement of Nature's perfectly balanced and fragile life systems. Collectively we are responsible for the havoc that is wreaked each time our now named winter storms wander across the Atlantic to visit us. These storms are not malicious. They do not purposefully intend us harm. They exist with all their ferocity because somehow we have projected into them the greed and avarice of our species - our insatiable and unstoppable desire to devour the very planet that provides us with sustenance.
These storms are merely a reflection of our collective esurient nature.
In the meantime, I learn to prepare for their arrival by placing extra lines on the boat, checking all fastenings and stowing all loose items. As an individual of our species I live in a manner which I hope shows respect for our fragile life system but I know with a heavy heart that I am as responsible as we all are for the regular arrival of our uninvited fearsome winter visitors.