I’ve been watching The Weather Channel the past two days with almost a morbid obsession. This waiting and watching and watching — it’s like a slow motion train wreck and I can’t get my loved ones off the tracks.
“Even if we did leave,” my sister said yesterday, “where would we go? The traffic is moving slowly and there’s no guarantee we would find gas along the way.”
Yes, life is one big crap shoot. You roll the dice, you move your mice, and — sometimes it’s the wrong decision, but you have to ride it out. Sometimes, it’s hard to know what the right decision is.
The other day I accidentally pulled out in front of a car at one of our wonky rural intersections (the Bowerstown bridge, for local readers). The other driver let me know — with a toot and a gesture — that he was not happy. I had already committed, though, and had to go for it once I entered the intersection. We all made it through unscathed.
I hope that’s the case for my sister.
Another story I’ve been following — through the friend of a friend of a friend — is of vacationers stuck on St. Maarten. First, gangs were invading the resort to loot it. The Americans hunkered down in the back corner of the back room of their condo. After escaping the gangs, Hurricane Jose set its course for them. “…their greatest concern is the amount of water that will be coming this time as there are no walls/windows to keep it out. They currently have some drinking water and some peanut butter to eat…” The word yesterday was that they had been rescued.
However, before the rescue, in their preparation for Jose, these people were told to collect loose debris left by Irma so it wouldn’t be flying around when the second hurricane hit. Honestly, I wouldn’t have thought of that.
I am mesmerized at the swirling red-purple-yellow-green nebulae of winds and rains on The Weather Channel — and I picture The Wizard of Oz on a much larger magnitude. With rain. Lots of rain. And now flying debris.
Someone posted on Facebook decrying people who make a metaphor of this hurricane. I don’t believe it belittles to take lessons from a disaster. Pascal (in Pensées) said,
1. To take everything literally.
2. To take everything spiritually.
It is a literal storm — on a magnitude that I have never seen.
But I also can learn a lot from those swirling winds.
When I feel battered on all sides — and I’ve had that kind of week: a death in the family, personal medical concerns, frustrations in relationships, a sister in the crosshairs of a hurricane, bickering, aching back — battered by both boulders and pebbles — when I feel battered, I can use the lulls to pick up the debris, and I can hunker down in the toughest part of the storms.
So, I turn my attention back to The Weather Channel, hoping to see some news of where my sister is.
“We don’t care about our weather,” Laurel scolded the television, as our local forecast came on.
No, we care about that freight train, Irma, slowly barreling toward Bonita Springs, Florida.