Into the Vortex by Pam White
The other day I took my horse Amadeo out on a lead line to do some ground work. We got into the arena, and suddenly he was arching his neck, blowing like a stallion, tail flagging, spooking, little rears. Sweat poured down my neck. I wanted to run. The last time this happened, five years ago, I was walking him at a new farm and he spooked, pivoted and kicked out, catching my thigh full force with his hoof. I went down. I had a shoe print, a big lump and a colorful leg for about a year.When that happened,I felt caught in a storm – fearful, helpless. It felt personal.
Hurricane Irene, on the other hand, catapulted us into an odd kind of stillness. After putting away and securing all potential projectiles, including dogs, cats, plants, we fell into obsessive storm watching. On the television and out the windows. Trees waving, rain whipping in sheets, images of the sea wild, surging. On the farm, the horses safe inside, chewing hay, breathing, shuffling in the straw. The Irene storm felt impersonal – something that happened with all of us – a kind of communal event – something to share.