The Prince of Darkness possesses Montreal. The Twilight Zone befalls all citizens. A prelude to TheGreat Tribulation as mentioned in Revelation?

Call it what you like, but the so called “Ice Storm of ’98,” “Storm of the Century,” is a phenomenonof great proportions caused partly by that nasty boy “El Nino.” After all, we have to blame someone,or something. Mother Nature sometimes gives its children a good whippin’ to humble them. We are all ather mercy.

It’s unfortunate that we need a shock like this to bring people together. People helping people,strangers becoming friends, neighbours finally meeting each other. The human spirit rules over ourpetty indifferences. We all need a swift kick on our collective behinds to reveal ourselves as wetruly are, human beings caring for each other, crossing all boundaries of race, religion,background and any other differences we have.

I happened to be lucky. I only lost power for about eight hours. It gave me the chance to understandwhat many Quebecers are going through, however brief. I live in N.D.G., one of the hardest hit areasin Montreal, and my street looks like a twister touched down. Large trees look like someone picked thetops off like broccoli. A huge missed my car by about two feet. Cars were frozen where they sat, peopletaking pictures, video-taping the devastation. It is a sight I will never forget.

Early Wednesday morning around 3 a.m., I had to take a walk. The wind was strong, ice pellets thrashedagainst my face and I marveled at the trees coated with ice. It was a surreal experience. There waslittle traffic. As I walked down the middle of the street, I could see and hear branches cracking andthen crashing to the street. These sounds would also be heard from the next street over. I was amazedto see branches strewn about the streets, some on cars, huge branches hanging precariously from thetrunks, and the glistening ice on everything it fell upon. It was a beautiful yet destructive sight tobehold.

In conclusion, my heart goes out to the thousands of people who are cold as I write this. It is aterrible thing to hear the stories on the radio, to see the devastation around me and on televiosion,and especially the old people who have to be helped from theirfreezing homes. Young children sufferaswell.

I think in times like these we should look to God for strength, and to realize that the physical thingsin life are secondary to the spiritual. That, in the end, is more important than material things. Thisstorm is not only a reality, but is a warm-up, a test for things to come.

-By Erland “Ice” Campbell