We survived Hurricane Sandy!
Who would have thought that a week and a half ago, that there would have been a storm of such magnitude as Hurricane Sandy, making its way up the Eastern Seaboard, to wreak devastation on the New Jersey coastline (as well as surrounding states) and our little neighbourhood.
If you don’t know it, I live at the top of the Jersey Shore in a little town called Atlantic Highlands on the coast. As you can imagine we’ve been deeply affected as a community. Boats have been tossed about through the marina carpark, and floated up the main street during the storm. Folks have lost their homes and businesses and more so in the village next to us. And it’s not just anyone, but people we know. It really feels different when you’re directly connected to the suffering being experienced.
Clive and I were extremely lucky. We live on higher ground in our town, so the flooding did not affect us. We were very worried about trees coming down on our property with the many mature trees we have surrounding us and we were extremely thankful not to have any topple over. The rest of the town wasn’t quite so fortunate.
Ironically, I had decided to accompany my visiting family from Northern Ireland to Toronto in Canada, so I could meet a part of my family that I didn’t know. and I had planned to stay the weekend and then fly back home on the Monday.
That was the Monday the hurricane hit. My flight was cancelled, and Clive was at home, on his own with our cats, fending for himself. The power went out pretty quickly and he soon didn’t even have power on his cell phone to text me.
Last week was one of the toughest times I’ve experienced as I watched homes being destroyed on TV from afar, read plaintive cries for help on Facebook and knew how so many without power didn’t even know the extent of the damage around them. I cried, and wanted so much to be with Clive and my babies even though it didn’t make much sense – being that I would also be in the path of danger too. I just wanted to be there, and felt out on a limb being stuck in Toronto even though I was surrounded by family.
I learned that I could open to surrendering to what is – embracing precious time with family I see very little of. I learned that when you’re exhausted and heart-sore that its ok to be gentle with yourself and give yourself a break. Ok maybe I learned that more towards the end of the week, when I felt broken… but I got there. And I also learned that I get driven, and to notice that I’m the only one driving myself – it’s my expectations and no-one else’s that I’m cracking the whip to fulfill. Whew… lots of lessons and gifts.
And of course…. Gratitude. For our safety and to know that my husband and all my friends who lost homes and belongingsare safe. And for the unrelenting majesty of nature, with all its power and force. How is it we as human beings never seem to learn that lesson, that we do not and cannot control nature, as much as we try?
And for the gifts of technology, that we take for granted when we use them all the time, but through this, realize how much we rely on them. And for silence and darkness, and connection – the blessings that power outages do bring, in amongst its challenges.
Now as you read this I’m re-united with Clive, and thankfully our is power back on. We managed for 7 days! Well Clive did, I got home and the next day the power came on. I hope if you’re in the area where Sandy struck that you’re safe and that you are finding some sense of normality back in your life, AND that you’re also noticing how you’re being when BIG stuff like this happens. Interesting isn’t it when we get to observe ourselves when the going gets tough?
Blessings to you. Hug your loved ones a little closer tonight as you think about how precious they are to you. I’ll be doing the same for sure. (although it might be that warmth is a motivator
Please comment and share your thoughts of this time and experiences you’ve been having (or those close to you) and insights there. I’d love to hear them and read them when the lights come back on.
And as always, how can we survive and thrive if we don’t look forward with hope, and joy reminding ourselves of all that is good in our lives?