The Calm Before the Storm

It is a sunny crisp morning–a stark contrast from the past few days of rain, heavy winds, and awful humidity. I sip my coffee and gaze at the six unopened gallons of water sitting on the counter next to several packages of flashlight batteries and two boxes of candles—hurricane supplies that the radio and television commentators insisted we have on hand as the Category 4 Earl was hurling directly toward Cape Cod.

Never being one to fret over the weather and in fact being quite the opposite—relishing a good storm for the drama of it– I protested when my husband went to the store to stock up. As a person mildly suspicious of the media, I had long since believed that on air weathermen churned up their stories just to get the viewing audience to stay tuned. After all, the more viewers the larger the advertising revenue.

So I awaited the storm going about my daily routine while those around me literally spent days battening down the hatches—boarding up windows, testing generators, filling their grocery carts to the brim as they worried, watched and waited for the onslaught that never came. No doubt we live in a fear based culture buying into what “big brother” is selling at the moment. Although no one truly knew the magnitude of Earl’s wrath, the hype became so massive that it paralyzed most.  Few were taking the time to remember the ocean always has the final say—as does the wind and soaring temperatures.

Someone once told me that the definition of FEAR boils down to FALSE EVIDENCE APPEARING REAL. How much time is wasted dreading what might happen rather than living with what is actually happening?

It occurred to me that the real storms of life offer no time to prepare– they just come and we are made to embrace them– such storms as illness, death, loss of relationship, to name a few. We live through the ordeal using past trauma’s as our guide and are simply made to be IN the hardship, pain and grief until it runs it’s course. Unexpected is the way of life. We have few options but to heed Robert Frost’s advice when he said: “The way out is through.”

Take precautions, yes, but then meet the challenge. If we pay attention where Mother Nature is concerned we will be gifted with small secrets and large lessons. Accept the mystery as a catalyst for change. The unexpected makes everything new and fresh so that there is a calm not only before but after the storm.