Hurricane Ian Life Lessons

Everyday looks like trash day since Hurricane Ian. The debris left from the storm in piles line the streets. There are leaves and branches, palms and pines removed from yards after their brutal uprooting by a category 4 hurricane with sustained winds of 150 miles per hour. Beautiful old oak trees did not survive and the sound of chainsaws permeate the once tranquil neighborhoods.

My house is completely intact for which I feel tremendous gratitude. Many homes were destroyed including 4 homes burned to the ground in my friend’s mobile home park. About 40 of her neighbor’s lost their roofs.

The young Shady Lady Black Olive tree in my backyard leans over from the north winds pushing it towards the south. It seems to symbolize what the hurricane survivors feel. We will be upright again but it will take time.

I am cautious about buying groceries to replace everything that spoiled in the refrigerator and freezer from 6 days without electricity. Hurricane season is not yet over.

Fortunately, I had the money to pay the 3 young men who helped clean up my yard and the tree company that cut down and removed my palm tree.

One giant uprooted tree leaning towards my yard and the power lines and transformer continues to stand but for how long? Life feels a little more tenuous yet a hurricane is part of nature. The meteorologists can chart its course from beginning to end but the human toll exists. The sound from the squirrels whose homes were blown away sounds like crying. The hurricane winds and rain lasted merely hours however its impact continues. So when someone implies that the hurricane did not really do much to my area because we were saved from the storm surge does not ring true.

My neighbor across the street had electricity when most of us did not. He shared it with anyone who asked to charge their phone or computer. I brought my coffee maker to his house after a few days of caffeine withdrawal so when an elderly neighbor who lives behind my house walked by and said all she wanted was a cup of coffee it was easy to help her out. She came to my house a week later and it was the first time she has ever been inside my house. It took a hurricane for us to build our small community? Another neighbor shared her battery charger with me and then started texting each morning to see if I was doing alright.

I believe there is always something good and positive in all the troubles we experience. Becoming a closer knit neighborhood was one. There was another gift which was surprising. The day and night of the hurricane, it was just me and my dog. I had asked friends if I could go to their house but nothing worked out so when the winds blew, the windows shook, objects hit the roof, and it was dark, I had my dog, my camping lantern, and a wind-up weather radio, I was feeling very alone. Two men on a local radio station stayed up all night taking calls and that was immensely comforting. Cell service was spotty so sometimes I could get a text or see a post on Facebook.

Friends and family from California to New York, Texas, New Jersey, Florida, Maine, and beyond texted, called or posted on Facebook expressing their concern for my well-being. It dawned on me, that I was not alone! It also dawned on me through the various tones and messages ( “Why didn’t you evacuate? Why aren’t you in a shelter? Stay safe. Sending positive energy.) that these were all languages of love. I had so much love sent to me when I thought I was alone but in reality I had a wonderful chorus of angels, human and otherwise.

I do not want to experience another hurricane anytime soon but I am so grateful for the powerful gifts Ian brought to my life.

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Susan Sheila Marie Jarvis

My Spirit nudges me to explore, learn, write and share. Self-improvement, inspiration, lessons learned, spirituality, and witty commentary on life.