It’s 6:45 a.m.
I sit on the couch noting the familiar sounds of my home; an occasional car…air conditioning units…airplanes rumbling across the sky…It’s much quieter than usual today; so far no bugs or birds.
I love the soft flickering glow of candles I’ve lit in the darkness; I feel cozy and safe. I sip my coffee, and think about the day ahead. Meditation, prayer, yoga, and daily planning come next. My morning rituals are important to my sense of wellbeing; they set the tone for the day.
A storm has formed in the Atlantic again. My instincts say we will be spared, but we’ve pulled the family together, stocked up on supplies and turn on the television periodically to keep track of the storm’s direction. We pray for those who will be hit hard.
In my thirty years of living in Florida, the act of storm preparation remains the same, though we begin receiving notification of storms forming and their movement much earlier, Theoretically, this helps us prepare, though the storms themselves remain as unpredictable as ever. As time goes by we come to know uncertainty intimately.
News readers call today’s storms “monsters” “massive” “colossal” and “horrific”. They “churn” with “catastrophic force”, and “barrel down” upon us. Or they slow, “bludgeoning and battering” us again and again. We are shown images of devastation, bare store shelves, people boarding homes and flooded streets. We are reminded of those who perished because they were unprepared, and weather becomes the news of the day.
We attempt to watch the news, but quickly switch it off, annoyed. Even though we are to receive updates every ten minutes, they never share enough to give you the complete picture; just enough to keep eyes glued to the television watching long strings of commercials between which tiny snippets of information are parsed.
Whether we are on the storm’s track or not, we head to stores and gas stations to be sure we are topped up. Because of the news, we face shortages well before the storms track is established. People are more and more frustrated as they go from store to store for essentials. Tensions mount as gas pumps run dry. Because the stores and gas stations have run short we will experience scarcity for a few weeks while supplies are slowly replenished. Word filters out of merchants raising prices to take advantage of those in fear and the unprepared. This is, of course against the law, and now, there’s an app for people to report price gougers.
No matter the storm, some will face devastation while the rest are spared. Some feel a sense of guilt when life goes unhindered, while others suffer. I remind myself that we all face life’s storms, whether it be a natural disaster or something more personal; no one is spared life’s slings and arrows and yet, we humans have a way of surviving.
At the end of the day, we receive news that the storm is weakening. Some will face the loss of family and material possessions. Others will spend weeks healing and repairing, while most will carry on as before. Soon there will be signs of new beginnings. Hope.
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