There is a phase to preparing for a hurricane.
The meteorologist watches the clouds, the way the wind twists and turns over the ocean, the trajectory of it on it's way to land, prepares. Then, he or she gets on the news and begins to send out the warning.
I hadn't had the news on for the past few weeks, honestly, with so much going on in other parts of my life, I was always exhausted at the end of the day. The news I gathered was online and even then, was limited, so I had no clue.
Until I tuned in one day this week.
Sounded so exotic. Even the way the pronounced the name with the proper French accent.
Then I began to get alerts, especially on Thursday and Friday.
The National Weather Service was already reporting on the tropical storm that went through Connecticut and left some parts north of me with flooded streets. Floods, being from Missouri, I knew how to ride out. A hurricane, not so much.
By Thursday afternoon, I was taking an inventory of what we had because the Category of it kept changing. I told my husband. We had plans with colleagues on Friday, meeting new people here. Would it still happen?
The news started reporting on the timeline.
Then my phone started with the emergency shrill loud warning with a text of what we needed to do - gas, money, medicine, food, water, go-bag if we were ordered to evacuate.
My heart started to beat.
I've never been in a hurricane before.
We live in the woods, not directly on the sound, so we wondered what would actually happen to us.
So we prepared.
I went to the store on Friday to pick up non-perishable food items, things we could cook because the gas would not go out if the electricity did. I calculated how much water we had. We have a well that is powered by electricity.
Fill up every empty carafe with water and put it on the dining table, buy bath-in-a-bag or baby wipes in case the power goes out and we can't shower. Line up jugs of water to flush the toilet, triple check the amount of peroxide and alcohol to sanitize it. Are there enough blankets. Pack a bag.
Go to cheer practice or not? Senior photos at 12:30, do we still do that? Calculating Saturday morning and how many hours really is 36 until the eye is set to hit.
Another alert, start breathing, it will e fin, ok, ok.
Storms can unrattle us.
They come, all the time, in life and we know they come.
They are also unpredictable, like when they come and how intense they will be and if we are prepared enough.
Life those that come in life.
We may have the warning signs, the alerts that it is coming.
We prepare as best we can.
But, we never really know until it hits, how we heavy the impact, if there will be resulting damage, how long until clean up.
I've never been in a hurricane before, but have experienced storms in life, that feeling of watching the clouds cover over the moon, the sudden gust of wind, the sway of an atmospheric shift, these are part of it like in life or encounters.
It is sometimes like that forming, storming, and norming that happens when a new team is trying to sync into a rhythm to work.
The clouds are out over the ocean, the sun is actually shining, it ws humid, then, close to the ocean, the slight sound could be heard.
Some, just gather and hang out, think there is nothing they can do about it so they might as well ride it out with other folks who don't really care. Well, maybe they care but it is not top-of-mind, they have seen it before, been through it before, and just ride it out.
Others, are organized and prepare. Want to have it and not need it, rather than need it and not have it.
Even knowing the storm is almost here, induces some anxiety, have we prepared enough? do we have enough? are we ready enough?
In the moments before it, when the waters are still, when the world seems like all is ok, when the sun shines...
All we can do, ultimately is get ourselves ready and then...
That also happens in life.
It is unexpected expected and devastating.
The scariest moments are in the eye of it, the fury, like the fury of someone who is resisting change or responsibility or authority or accountability at work, in life, in society.
All the emotions, clinging to what we do know is true, who we know is true, what we know is true, disoriented, making sense of what feels like it makes no sense.
Then, the aftermath.
The devastation, the destruction, the debris.
Happens in life, also.
What is there to salvage? Where do we begin clean-up? What is worth keeping ?
We pause to evaluate what is most important, our emotional and physical go-bag. Gathering those items that are most crucial for rebuilding.
Rebuilding can and will happen.
Perhaps better, with a stronger foundation with beams able to hold up the house of life.
Maybe it adds on other parts, a safe space for more storms that will inevitably come, but experiencing it, know better how it will operate in this place.
Each place, each storm is different and familiar.
So with it being know, like the sun rising every day, offers a moment to pause, to reflect, to not rush, and to consider how to live. Better.
When the storm is passing over.