If I have learned one thing in my 57 years of life on this lovely spinning rock, it is that there is one thing that is steadfastly inevitable. We cannot ignore, stop or alter the stark reality of change.
It is all around, within and without, in your face and in faraway lands. No amount of clinging, wailing, ignoring or holding one’s breath will delay its callous, unsympathetic influence.
Change can be exciting, terrifying, exhilarating, devastating, slow, fast, constant or intermittent; and we cannot predict when it may arrive although we can instigate its movement when we wish. It is uncontrollable and yet malleable at the same time.
I have fought change for more wasted moments of my life, the crabby Cancer that I am, wanting to cling to the warm, comfy familiar. I attribute the massive and sudden changes that have occurred repeatedly in my world to that very stubborn way of feeling and thinking. If I came here for nothing else, it was to learn about life, to experience all that I can; and how is that possible if I burrow into a quiet hole and never venture out?
Sadly, there are many changes that should be made as well but aren’t; and we, as a race of human beings, may suffer dire consequences as a result of our arrogance, neglect, indifference and fear of standing against a majority of disregard for the world that we are merely guests in rather than the Gods with ultimate control that many seem to feel we are.
We go about our lives feeling pretty much in control until there is an accident or tragedy. Still, many of those mechanical things have a modicum of control as part of the equation. But when nature comes calling with a vengeance, that force over which we have absolutely no control, we become acutely aware of our powerlessness. No fists against the wind will stop a tornado, no amount of weeping will put out raging forest fires, and no substandard levees will hold back the flood waters and fury of a Category 5 hurricane.
We just lived through a serious storm here in Florida, a Category 4 storm called Matthew. It could have been so much worse, and for some it was horrible. It was cruel and devastating for the people of Haiti. We live in a mobile home; and although I have “stuck it out” through many hurricanes back home in Louisiana, I swore I would never do that in a tin can. When the governor said to evacuate, we did. One of the most important things I have learned in all of my moving, rebuilding and scaling down, is that “things” are not important when it comes to your life. The recent floods back home took most of everything from so many people that I love and care about. But they are alive and there are more things to be had. Our greatest concern was having a home to come back to, things or not. We were very fortunate that our home was not damaged, but so many others were not as fortunate. My dear family at home still is not in a new home, so much ridiculous red tape and stalling tactics. Some folks here still don’t have power. As a side note, if you don’t do anything else to prepare for a storm, I recommend getting a generator and learning how to use it properly. It can really make the difference in the quality of your life during the time you may be without power.
We had to drive 15 hours (what should have been a 7 hour trip) to find a hotel vacancy, and in the process ended up in a most beautiful area of the Gulf that managed to take our minds off of what might occur back home. Funny how life twists and turns in mystical ways. We have not had a vacation of any kind in over two years and here a long weekend was thrust upon us by Mother Nature. I admit to enjoying most of it. A good deal of alcohol numbs the senses, but eventually sobriety and time comes knocking. The drive home was a bit shorter but much more tense, since we were not quiet certain of what awaited us. A friend had reported only “superficial” damage, although we were hesitant to trust exactly what that meant. We could see the effects of the winds on the highway as we got closer, but pulling into the neighborhood was astounding. So many of the little homes were damaged and every tree had been ravaged, the remains of their magnificent branches strewn across every inch of grass. Folks had already begun clearing their yards and piling debris by the road. I looked overhead to what was once a welcoming archway of mossy oak arms to where there glared only vast blue sky dotted with stark empty trunks, sticking up like ragged teeth, an eerily mirthless smile of post apocalyptic bravado. The bright blue of the sky seemed too contradictory to the destruction below.
We took a long walk on Sunday and these are some of the photos I took and this was only in our neighborhood. Some of the beach roads are only just now being opened. My husband finally returned to work today and it will be me tomorrow. Our hearts are thankful there was not more tragedy and we are appreciative for the forethought and preparedness of the state officials as well as the quick response utility teams that worked to get power back up quickly. We also had a Salvation Army truck that came daily with meals for the community.
I can’t speak for anyone else, but my own “boredom” barometer is reset to very low. I would be quite content for the Autumn to pass quietly into Winter; and for the first time in many years, I think I might be feeling a bit of childlike Christmas Spirit…..
When we first headed out, my little sentry was in his turret, keeping a watchful eye from the neighbor’s roof top.
Fifteen hours later……
But, eventually, the temporary reprieve had to end and we made the journey home…
As I thought of posting these photos, I was reminded of a favorite Beatles song, always relevant…..
We miss you, John.
(the typo in the intro was not mine)
My dream is to live in a world where we learn to honor the gifts of nature every day.
I heard someone actually blame the “damned trees” for the destruction. I believe he took a deep, labored breath as he said it……
Nature continues on….
Bye, bye. I have such an urge to carve a pumpkin!!