Wednesday, 11 March 2015

The Lent Diary - Mar 11

The sky is falling!

It isn't often you experience the sensation of your world coming crashing down on top of you. Literally. I had such an experience yesterday while walking to a doctor's appointment. I was enjoying the sunshine as I went down Johnson Street past the library, crossed the intersection at Wellington and headed alongside St. George's Cathedral. I had a smile on my face. That changed in an instant.

As I went past the side door of the church I heard a low rumble coming from somewhere around me. At first I had a hard time placing it until I realized it was above me.The entire section of roof extending from the side door to the front of the cathedral had apparently warmed up as the sun shone and temperatures rose. The buildup of snow, ice, more ice, more snow and again more snow and ice over the last months came down not in one gigantic sheet but broke up into a dozen or more chunks each the size of a king mattress. As this collection of winter's wrath cleared the roof edge, it plummeted straight down and landed with the grinding thud of a long bout of very close thunder.

All in all, this event probably took 5 seconds from start to finish and yet I recall each nanosecond with perfect clarity. I talk about this as a sound because although I looked up to see the ice/snow sheet begin its slide, I quickly turned my back and huddled down beside a car obliviously parallel parked beside the building.

When the noise had ceased I slowly rose from my crouched position to make eye contact with a man across the street who was in the process of picking up his jaw from the ground. He exclaimed, "WOW" to which I replied, "YAH". He wanted to say more but all he could manage was two more wows.

Unfortunately I didn't have the presence of mind to take a picture. I was truly just happy to get away with my life. Although I'm not certain I was ever at risk, the sound alone was enough to cause my adrenaline to hit me within a few seconds.

At the doctor's office, which is right across the street from the cathedral, I was able to explain the thunder they had all heard moments earlier. I'm happy to report that my blood pressure was 138/70 with the high number (systolic) understandably elevated after my very recent experience.

Perhaps the sky didn't fall on me but I did experience the fight or flight response we are told in high school biology class is an innate response that we cannot alter. And unlike Chicken Little, I had a witness.

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