Global warming? Climate change? Arctic Oscillation? Whatever the cause, weather madness has taken on a whole new dimension. There is no more calm before the storm − on the contrary, there is shopping cart rage and battery gluttony. Bottled water is hoarded, and generators, well, they've become sacred. It seems there is nothing Mother Nature cannot touch.
Sandy is no exception. She wreaked her havoc on our shores and inland... pouring seawater into cars, subways, runways, homes... and many of us are still assessing damage and without power and running water. As the mother of a young child, my biggest fear was not being able to provide for my son, not having enough food or water for him. Maternal instincts magnify when daily necessities are threatened, and not knowing when things will normalize − when we will again live with all the comforts we often take for granted − that just throws extra anxiety into the mix.
It makes us realize what so many people have to live without on a regular basis − running water, refrigeration, heat − everyday life in third world countries and even in extreme poverty situations here in the United States. Yet, we are crazy without lights for an hour... walking from room to room, hitting all the light switches even though we know there is a blackout. It's a reflex. An automatic response that does not even reach a level of consciousness! We have so much − SO MUCH − on a daily basis, and when that is taken away, we are lost.
Not going to lie. Power outages make me cranky. And seeing the vast damage is excruciating. But I also see how people band together to help each other. I must have had 10 Facebook posts in my feed just today that celebrated restored power and invited those without to come for showers and hot food! People helping others, in this time of need. These little things make a big difference... and even more than that, they are a constant reminder that we are there for each other.
Helping others in need and being resourceful − whether it is in the kitchen or with the kids or with a stranger outside − brings the positive to a devastating situation. That genuine sense of camaraderie among families, friends, and neighbors results in greatness. We are not alone. Mother Nature surely has some ugly and terrifying moments but the connections among us... and what we can do for each other... that, she simply cannot touch.
If you still need a reminder that there is hope and beauty everywhere, do an image search for Hurricane Sandy rainbows; they were especially stunning.
Wishing you safety, peace, and many connections during this difficult time.