That's it hurricane Matthew?
Well, the hurricane came and went and for a while all focus was upon it. Here, in southeastern Florida it was a real test on one's nerves. The 145 mph winds stays in one's psyche, especially if one recalls the power of 85mph winds. Where I live in my town of Boynton Beach we are 8 miles off the coast which fell in the cone of possibilities. Watching weather reports was almost a meditative experience if one could get around the self importance of the reporters. Channel 25, especially on Facebook, had reporting that seemed to not take themselves too seriously.
Anyhow, a neighbor at first wanted to stay with me because she didn't want to be alone and later decided to go to a shelter, asking me to join her. Her descriptions of it were not as dire as I would have thought .Still I explained I have my work and valuables here and have to protect it all with all I've got. However, her point was valid. The winds of 145mph could take a life with a direct hit and I was humble about my decision to stay. I was not alone. A few neighbors also remained and we shared notes. As this is not a journal of the hurricane, I'll move on to the metaphysical points I'd like to make.
At some point it seemed as if the hurricane would parallel the coast and not make landfall near me. Boynton was located right before the point where it might make impact. Hence, the storm would be 30 to 60 miles offshore. As it turned out, it stayed off shore at that distance and for a few hundred miles up the coast so we were spared. Later, it hit northern Florida, Georgia, South and North Caroline with tons of water and flooding and power outages to almost a million, so it was not a joke. But as said we were fortunate.
Alone in the apartment though, one is isolated with one's fears and helpless in a way to larger forces. You have to make peace with a lot. You also think of the worse and make peace with that. You are vulnerable to the laws of nature, you are helpless to the above. If one does believe in a maker, there are two ways to view it. The first is that life has a life of its own, and things happen that respect the natural laws, and sometimes God is removed from activities, whether by choice or because of the limitations of how these laws are set up. The second approach is more spiritual. One is humbled and on one's knees and simply can't take anymore and asks for help from the divine and if it is in the maker's will you are heard. Of course these are rough distinctions and many other subtle layers exist.
I can only speak for this area and the people I run across, but many are handling all they can handle and are already close to being overwhelmed. Total destruction for these people would be just that, too much to handle. They are juggling a lot, and perplexed already. Perhaps some fear, some basic human emotions, some primal instincts can clear their overburdened brains and in a sense clarify who they are to themselves. Perhaps it is important to see what they can count on when all seems at risk. Perhaps on their knees some arrogance and self absorption and preoccupation is lost. So, with all this being said, I think a total hit would have been too much too handle in this area, but a close encounter can lubricate and clear the spiritual arteries and spiritual brain cells. In short, people here are under enough pressure so a good scare has some value, but total devastation serves no higher purpose. This is the hurricane seen from my vantage point in story format.
So, if God works this way, and my feelings are right, this is why I felt we would not be directly hit and why it turned out so. Of course this can just be conjecture, and it is dangerous to fool one's self, but it also can be how things work. I know something is completed in myself when I view things from this perspective.
Along these lines reader and Facebook friend A, a local artist of some renown, posted a picture of some Boca Raton houses on the inlet right after the hurricane passed. The houses were serene and the clouds hung like a London fog and she said, “That's it hurricane Matthew?” After all the hype and turmoil a peaceful night was to be had according to her. A reader of hers commented, “It is wrong to tease the hurricane. Believe me I know. Have a little more humility.” I paraphrase here but his point is very well taken. We just received some mercy and then she just waved a red flag. The 'U' Matthew was supposed to make returning to us but didn't could have been 'unfinished business.'
The morning before the night the hurricane was supposed to hit us, neighbor C showed on Facebook a picture of she and her husband drinking with company near the shore They had done their prep work and decided to live it up. I wrote they should not be so cavalier before the forces that be. Her response was understanding. I mentioned to neighbor Tom about the post and we both agreed a humble demeanor is called for. Of course one can't force this, or pretend to be if one isn't, but just common sense dictates certain appropriate reactions are well, more appropriate.
And so, life goes on with another identifiable notch in our belts, hopefully inching closer to a larger understanding and harmony.