June 1st is the start of hurricane season. Between now and the end of November, those of us dwelling in the coastal southeastern region are attune to keep one ear to the wind…and one eye on the weather channel. Actually, most of us skip the cable weather people. All we need is hard data. We go straight to NOAA and watch live satellite feed. We acknowledge the millibars and watch the fronts coming across the Great Plains. We watch the storms form on the west coast of Africa and barrel across the Atlantic. Then there are the upstarts, late arrivals to the party that form in the Caribbean or Gulf of Mexico, as if….
They predict 12 – 18 named storms this year. That means winds above 39 mph. They expect three to six to be major storms. These are this seasons names:
Arlene, Bret, Cindy, Don, Emily, Franklin, Gert, Harvey, Irene, Jose, Katia, Lee, Maria, Nate, Ophelia, Philippe, Rina, Sean, Tammy, Vince, Whitney
Frankly, that is a boring list until you get to Ophelia.
In a year of devastating natural disasters (and few man made ones)….we are reminded about loss. To lose a home, all our cherished possessions, maybe even a loved one is unfathomable. But, we can’t take any of it with us. We aren’t remotely akin to the Egyptian pharaohs who entombed all their possessions with them as if to relocate their kingdoms to the afterlife. You have to let it all go when you leave this world.
So it gets me wondering. If we can’t take it with us, why grip it so fiercely in this life? My real treasure is in the people in my life I love and adore. My true wealth is in the connections I have, the love. My greatest gift – both given and received – is forgiveness. Don’t get me wrong. I love me an All Clad stock pot and my little black Lexus Teacake and my Maurice Lecroix watch and upgrades to first class. But I would trade a whole lot of the STUFF in this life….I HAVE relinquished a whole lot of stuff in this life so far….in my desire to be known and to know others. To love and be loved. To connect. To be seen and see. To be REAL. When a hurricane strips away all that you own, you take an inventory. Great joy is found in what really matters. And out of that devastation can come miracles. My nephew Michael is a phoenix born from the utter destruction of my sister’s world. It was a fair trade. A perfect exchange.
I do not welcome or wish for a direct hit from a hurricane (or river or tornado or tsunami or earthquake), but I know first hand that out of the rubble rises the unbelievable.