For those of us who choose to live in places where Mother Nature reveals her viscous side every year, there’s a special lesson to be absorbed. Surrender.
As soon as I was old enough to choose my dwellings, I’ve been drawn to breathtakingly beautiful spots. Places where Gaia decided to show exactly how much beauty she could place in one physical location. I combined my love of nature with my profession in my 20s. I majored in Outdoor Recreation, so I HAD to live in these gorgeous placed for my “work”. Damn.
Three days before the projected landfall of Hurricane Dorian in the Low Country of SC. I always go to the ocean to both document her before the destruction and ask the storm to be kind-- if possible.
And while these places are stunning, they are also host to the raw fury of all that Mother Nature is capable of. Crippling blizzards, destructive hurricanes— those are the prices we pay for living in these gorgeous locations.
And as humans continue to destroy the planet, her fury grows exponentially more intense and erratic each year. Sprinkle the daily chaos of navigating our society in 2019 and you have the ultimate lesson for us humans.
At some point, you reach the apex of your ability to prepare. And then you wait. You gather your vises (hello bourbon, chips and cannabis) you collect all the books, crafts and Netflix binges (until the power dies) and you wait. You worry. You wonder. Your life is segmented into the 4-6 hour blocks of updates from the National Hurricane Center. You contemplate the worst case scenarios and do a mental rundown of your emergency go bag (the bag you keep next to you in case you have to dive into the closet and pray the roof stays put) and then you try to find stillness.
The stillness in that surrender is the hardest part of it all. Keeping anxiety at bay and embracing the fact that the Universe has a greater plan for you— or not. At least not on this planet.
Right now, I’m watching the radars and the NHC updates and seeing that worse case scenario play out for the Bahamas. Our fate lies at the hands of what happens once Dorian is done pummeling that poor island. And all I can think about is how the people who had to stay, the people who had no where to go and no way to leave, are now surrendering.
This is a satellite image from the twitters that shows a before and after of the Bahamas during Dorian. I pulled this image on 9/3/2019. Simply devastating.
There is no other choice. Winds of 165 mph, peaking at 220 mph, have been bearing down on the northern stretch of the Bahamas since yesterday and Grand Bahama still has at least 12 more hours of this fury. I can’t wrap my brain around that. Normally, a Cat 4 or 5 blows through with all its fury and in a few hours you see what and who survived and you start to process the pain.
You simply don’t sit in a Cat 5 hurricane for 36 hours. The storm is literally moving 1 mph as I speak. I walk faster than that. And on that island, thousands of people are surrendering— some for the very last time--with their very last breath.
That’s the ultimate lesson in all of this and one we will all have to wrestle with as the climate crisis lands on our doorsteps. You may not live in a hurricane zone, but you might live near a river that has historic flooding for months on end. Or maybe your home is nestled in a town surrounded by wildfires and winds and you have surrender at a rapid speed. Or maybe you live in tornado alleys and must act fast and surrender at a moments notice.
We must all wrestle with the climate crisis— whether we want to or not— and we must all surrender at some point during the struggle. Mother Nature will demand it and no amount of ignorant bliss will protect us.
My advice is to prepare. Educate yourself on the weather and science behind the impacts your area faces on a regular basis. Learn how to read a damn weather radar and have your go bags and weather kits ready. The more prepared you are, the easier it will be to navigate the emotions of these weather events.
The more you know and understand— the easier it is to connect with Source and surrender when it’s time to let go of control and just be.
I saw these sea turtle nests while greeting the outskirts of the storm and my heart broke. There's a story of mother nature that doesn't get told during major storms. The habitats-- and the very lives-- of the creatures trying to bring life onto this planet are often destroyed during these storms. These nests are less than a hundred yards from the encroaching waves. And in 48 hours, this tiny little strip of beach will be destroyed by the fury of the ocean. It happens during every major storm. And these little turtles-- who were already struggling to be born due to our presence on this shoreline-- will have their spark of life snuffed out. And those tiny little lives-- tiny little stories-- never break the surface of our broader human narrative. So many stories are never told during the tragedies of our climate crisis.