Winter storm reveals 'wild spectacle of sea' - and love
I believe in love.
I fell in love when, by pure chance, I asked my husband, Bill and his seven-year-old daughter for directions as I left my cruise ship in Dockyard eight years ago.
I never thought or expected that I could fall in love like a young girl again and experience such an incredible feeling of delight. I was 47 years old! Yet butterflies swirled in my stomach and I wanted to sing, to laugh, to embrace the entire world with my excitement and happiness! My spirit came alive under the gentle and tender touch of the man I love.
When I met Bill, my heart began to slowly thaw after a long winter of hibernation as I warmed under his loving gaze.
How many years had I been looking for Bill? At least twenty. Of course, I wasn't alone all that time. There were some passionate romances and fleeting marriages; there were decent men, even famous ones, but until I met Bill I never felt cherished. Very soon, I knew: it’s him. He is your man.
When I am thinking about love, I believe it is not about romantic and passionate words but more about action. It is about showing love. You know a man really loves you when he does something extraordinary for you, when it is crystal clear he is there to protect and care for you.
Last Thursday, a strong and powerful storm rolled over our tiny island. Our house is perched above the South Shore and our wind indicator recorded gusts of over 120mph. We could feel the house trembling and the windows rattled loudly as they were tested by blasts of wind-driven rain.
I was lying quietly on the couch in the upstairs living room, snugly wrapped in a soft, warm blanket watching the delightful show The Durrells in Corfu on my laptop and wearing headphones. The volume was high because I didn’t want to hear the shrieking wind. The room was dark because I love to experience “movie theatre ambience”.
Around midnight, I heard a series of loud and desperate yells from downstairs. “Nina! Where are you?“ I yanked off my headphones, sat up straight and yelled back, “Here! I am here!”
Bill came bounding up the stairs. He was soaking wet and his windbreaker pooled water on the floor. He was shivering with cold.
“What’s happened? Where did you go?” I was terrified.
He threw off his coat and stood staring at me in the near darkness.
He began to shake his head, and rubbed the water out of his eyes.
“Unbelievable! You have been here the whole time?”
“Of course! Where else would I be?”
Bill woke up when the wind tore a shutter off our bedroom window. He looked over at me and I wasn’t there. He searched the house, loudly calling my name. He went through every room twice. I didn’t hear him because of my headphones, and I was nearly invisible tucked away in the dark on the big leather couch in the corner.
He grabbed his coat and ran outside. As he rounded the corner, the wind knocked him onto one knee. The clouds were swirling across the sky, and the full moon broke through, spilling a silver glow over the crazily dancing trees. The wind was howling and it was the “Wolf Moon” the first full moon of the year. The ocean below us was a magnificent, raging free-for-all of confused and crashing breakers.
He told me what happened next:
“I couldn’t figure it out! I thought perhaps you had gone to the beach for a closer look. You are such a romantic and love taking pictures, and I know you would find this awesome majesty hard to resist!”
Without hesitation, he bent into the wind and spray and climbed down the 600 slippery steps to the small hidden cove below the cliff.
When he reached the bottom, he gripped the stone wall and looked for my footprints in the wet sand below. There were none.
“What a relief! I knew you had not walked past the steps. Then a sense of awe rose inside of me as I gazed at this wild spectacle of sea and rocks and moon. I was frightened, but it was savagely beautiful. The storm raged and the thunder of the waves pounded in my chest like a drum. The howling wind merged with the angry roar of the ocean, and I looked up and saw stars, brittle and bright and the moon itself calm and silver and very near. The sea was a milky turquoise and splintered into huge gouts of spray that beat on the black rock of the cliff. I turned to look behind me. A casuarina tree split like a matchstick, and I knew I had to go up. I was frightened and anxious and baffled and angry! Where in the world could you be?”
“I was here! Just here!” My eyes were wide with astonishment. He took me in his arms and held me tightly, desperately.
That’s when I knew.
I had found true love, still strong and burning brightly after all our years together.
Happy early Valentine’s Day, my dear readers!
Nina London is a certified wellness and weight-management coach. Her mission is to support and inspire mature women to make positive changes in their body and mind. Share your inspirational stories with her at www.ninalondon.com