The things you learn when you can lose everything
If I’ve been missed (apologies), it’s because Hurricane Ian took out our fence, our HVAC, my garden, tap water and our WiFi. We were lucky.
Our lives are mostly intact, despite hurricane force winds, slamming rain, and forced dopamine withdrawal. The house held, the shutters worked, the sandbags weren’t needed and we still have food.
We feel so fortunate and grateful.
After the storm, our neighbors helped take the fence down. A giant plate of sausages and barbecued chicken appeared. And the sun came out after days of thunder and ruin. It was as if nothing happened.
It’s kind of amazing the way nature simply continues even when we can’t. During the storm I spotted four Sandhill Cranes strutting in the rain, hunkering down, fluffing themselves as the squalls gusted past, simply ignoring the storm as we huddled inside.
They went about their lives— even as around us everything we worked for, everything we owned stood at risk. Our home insurance is shaky. Our possessions are ours only as long as nature doesn’t require them, even if it’s just to toss them into broken piles and soak them.
We thrive on a knife edge of habitability don’t we? Of comfortable temperatures and adequate food. Upset that balance and our lives unravel. Lately I’m seeing that balance being disrupted everywhere.
And it is those times when we unravel we find out who our friends are. Who our neighbors are. Who our family really is; it’s quite amazing. I discovered we have friends more interested in us than relatives. Have you ever realized that? It’s a strange feeling.
I discovered broadcast TV isn’t that bad. That cheesecake during a hurricane tastes extra good and that having a warm doggie snuggled up just when things are at their worst makes everyone feel better.
I discovered we don’t really need as many things as we own. When the tornado warnings came, we crowded into the only room in the house without a window — the guest bathroom. We had a few documents, our wallets, medicines and a flash drive with family photos.
Those were the only things we could save if it came down to life and death. The only things worth keeping.
I discovered the storm bent my plants over, but with a little support they can find their footing again. Life has its storms doesn’t it? Perhaps we too can be life support for others bent and close to breaking. Helping hands are kind of a miracle we can all create.
After the storm, those are the things I’ve been thinking about. We’re alive. We’re still here. We’re still (mostly) whole. Everything else is just gravy.
For now we will continue. I will be back on Medium as soon as I get WiFi back. Smiling. I also discovered that when everyone is using cellular data it suuuuucks.
Catch up with you soon. I promise.