The hurricane is arriving in several hours. It is raining and very windy. I am hectically cooking rice and Brussels sprouts. My husband is making beef soup. The electricity may go away for days, so we want to be ready. Our grocery store is already closed due to bad weather. Doing another load of laundry, making a pot of tea and coffee. Without electricity, all these things would be impossible. Candles, matches and flashlights are prepared, a bath tub is filled with water, just in case. Sending a few e-mails and checking with friends on Facebook who are also getting ready for Sandy. I am trying to stay calm, but the truth is that I am nervous and restless. The strength of the wind is scary.
Next morning, I look through the window and see a bird flying. What a great image! There were no birds yesterday, all of them hid somewhere, as well as the squirrels. The bird is a sign that the worst is over and things will be coming back to normal soon. We learn that our neighborhood survived the hurricane without being damaged in any major way. We are sadden to hear about the huge damages in other areas and lives lost.
What an experience to be confronted with the power of Mother Earth! To face the possibility of losing all those common things which we normally take for granted, such as electricity, water and steady supply of fresh food. What an opportunity for gratefulness, for reflection on being a part of something much bigger than we are. What an opportunity to say “I love you” to friends and family, because suddenly this is what matters most. So many of my friends reached out to me from several different continents to say they are thinking of me. I got overwhelmed by the amount of messages of support and love I received. In the moments when our lives or lives of our loved ones are threatened, our souls speak more freely, we are more of who we are and we see more clearly what is truly important in life.
These are the gifts of Hurricane Sandy. As much as her dark side was dangerous, damaging and killing, her other side was wise and giving. Sandy’s messages to us should not be forgotten. The hurricane’s wake-up call is here for a reason. It is a sad truth that so often we live day by day on autopilot, frustrated by so many little things but not seeing the bigger picture of all the great things in our lives. Being safe, having a roof over your head, running water, caring friends and family – how often are you truly grateful for all this abundance in your life?
Let’s not wait for another hurricane. Let’s unwrap the gifts we’ve been given and start living like it is the last day of our life.