IN THE EYE OF THE STORM – Part 1
I’m not sure where he made landfall, but it was pretty near to where I live. The winds were strong all day, but in the morning hours they seemed rather mild as hurricanes go. You were able to walk outside the house although the rains were strong and you didn’t want to get too wet. So after a few minutes you would go back inside the house. In those hours, it seemed that North port had dodged a bullet . The winds were strong but did not seem very damaging . The heavy rain seemed more of a threat than the wind. In the morning hours everything was working, Internet phone and electricity. So I planned to do my regular schedule. I had a session with a client at 10:30 am and when I finished I planned to work on a chart. Around noon I took a little nap. When I woke up around 1 pm, everything changed. First off, there was no electricity, so I couldn’t get on my computer to do my work. Because there was no electricity there was no phone no Internet and no running wster. So there was not much else to do but meditate and watch the spectacle of a major hurricane roaring through my community. Ian was awesome in his ferocity. The trees around the community which before were merely swaying back-and-forth, as if in prayer were now bent almost completely forward. They didn’t break but they were very close to a 0° angle to the ground.
I am getting all kinds of text messages from Sarasota emergency services, not to go outside, not to drive and to stay away from windows.
During the morning hours when the wind was relatively mild I received all kinds of text messages from friends inviting me to stay at their home until the storm passed. But I decided to stay where I was and do whatever work was possible to do.
Now after 1:30 pm it was a moot point anyway. Driving was much too dangerous.
What to do during my enforced vacation? First I meditated. Then I decided to watch the hurricane from my windows as if I was watching a movie on the big screen. There was something beautiful in this kind of natural ferocity. We come face to face with the power of nature. The trees bow to her, the creek near my house offers himself up and does not resist. Ian does with it whatever it Wills and the creek doesn’t seem to mind. Even the trees which are stretched to their near breaking point don’t seem to mind either. The brush and the shrubbery also swaying back-and-forth offer no resistance . This strategy seems to work as the trees, the shrubs and bushes in my neighborhood are all intact. The sky is gray now as I write. In fact the whole world seems gray. This is a gray fog, dense and palpable. The empty spaces are all gray and the trees shudder and sway against a gray background. The wind seems to lessen now as I write. The worst seems over. But this is only a head fake. Later, I learned that we were in the eye of the hurricane. So, it was natural to have fierce winds, estimated at 150 mph. And then a period of calm as the center passes over us. And then the resumption of the fierce winds. No, the worst was not over but only just beginning. The sound of these winds, we can call them hurricane Ian’s Symphony, Alternated. At first it sounded like 1000 freight trains roaring down the tracks, unstoppable and ferocious. Then the sound
shifted to a low mournful dirge, like the sound of 1000 women at a funeral. I was reminded of Yom Kippur services as a boy . The Cantor would sing a particular prayer and the whole congregation would swoon moan and Groan . There was not a dry eye in the synagogue. Perhaps Ian was communicating the future to me. I was not supposed to be near any windows. I kept getting messages from the Florida authorities, to shelter in place and stay away from any windows. But, I couldn’t resist this rare opportunity to watch a category 4 or 5 storm close up. It was mesmerizing. This, no doubt, overrode my fears.
I might not have electricity, phone or Internet, but I am well and untouched. Tomorrow, or whenever my electricity is restored, I will surf the Internet and see how the rest of my city fared, and also the rest of Florida.