So we are in a polar vortex. Not as bad here as many places but cold enough. If we’d had the rain last night that we got 2 nights ago we’d have a skating rink. Mid to upper 20s this morning. I forgot about the vortex. I could not understand why my fingers were completely numb when Lily and I took our walk, or why the birds didn’t come to the deck railing for their breakfast first thing. Even the squirrels left the sunflower seed feeders alone.
So I’m wondering what the opposite of a vortex is. If anybody knows please tell me. No online dictionary has it, they all say “no definition found”, and even the Oxford English, which is the only dictionary I have access to since my other ones are all packed and this one’s too big, offers no help: “a situation where persons or things are steadily drawn, from which they cannot escape”. Well, then a geyser by virtue of its spewing out, violently, would to me be the natural opposite, right? But there is no such thing where the weather is concerned, that I know of. A geyser creates an emptiness which then needs to be filled and nature abhors a vacuum. Weather is present no matter what. Every day we have sunny weather, rainy, snowy, cold, windy, or some sort of atmospheric condition that fills up our world. A vortex just sounds so terrible. You imagine black holes, the bottom of the universe falling out, something drastic, catastrophic even.
I remember when I lived in Florida in late winter there would be really dense fogs some mornings. I walked my dogs down by the St. John’s River and we’d wander out along the dock. One such morning I took a picture of Savannah, a border collie I had at the time. I had no idea it would turn out the way it did (early on in the age of digital photography). There she stood, gazing alertly into the deep river water at something only she could see, enveloped by misty grey thickness that I had not seen through the lens when I took the picture. “Savannah in the vortex” I called it.
Words are so powerful. We have to be careful how we use them.