Zen Zone #26

"I expected times like this – but I never thought they'd be so bad, so long, and so frequent." – Ashleigh Brilliant, Despair.com

I used to pretty much "get on my game face" when one of these babies came wandering up from the Caribbean.  These days it seems like I'm just interested in getting on with things: either hit me or don't hit me, but let's not drag this out for a few weeks as I have little patience for drama.  Then of course, along comes the quake.  While this definitely ratcheted up the tension on the already nervous, it too didn't register much with me.  I guess not much fazes me anymore. 

While there is the wisdom shared by some that this is the Apocalypse, I'll point out that this was also said about a number of previous disasters by a number of similarly-wrong prophets, hucksters, and snake-oil salesmen posing as religious leaders.  I'm watching The Weather Channel like I do throughout most of the year anyway, hoping my family located in the Mid-Atlantic is doing okay, as they are usually wondering about us when the storms are aimed a little lower.

On my way back from out of town, I found myself contemplating the possibility of a strike on my community, as we were centered nicely in the earlier forecasts.  Strangely enough, and maybe it's just a sign that I am growing older, I felt pretty peaceful about it, so long as I could assure the safety of my wife and children and as well, spare the lives of my many Island neighbors (and other communities as well, but you get what I mean).  The rest is just stuff and stuff can ultimately be replaced.  It wouldn't be easy, but so long as we have each other, we have what we need.

A story I have repeated often (and have even spoke of it here on FHZ) is one from Katrina.  I met a man who had lost everything he had. When I questioned how God could let something like this happen, he said that he was thankful, because this was God's way of showing him how many people loved him.  In retrospect, some of the most valued lessons and gifts in my life came from Katrina. That sounds pretty bizarre, but the friendships I strengthened, the people who I met and have become lifetime friends with, the opportunities for learning and sharing, and many other things as well all came from the aftermath of that terrible storm.

Let's keep the people and communities who have already been impacted by disasters all over the world, and those who are in the sights of this new threat on the horizon, in our prayers.  And let's hope that instead of despair, each individual instead finds some meaning in these tragedies, meaning that strengthens them for the rest of their lives.



1 Comment

  • Glenn Mate says:

    It seems that the earth is doing what exactly is has been doing for billions of years, constantly changing. We fail to realize this quiet often. We seem to disregard information that was recorded beginning from biblical times such as floods, the earth moving under our feet, rain of forty days and forty nights. More recent, from 750AD to some where around 1450AD the Continental United States encountered a mini “Ice Age.” Scientist have taught us that the climate has changed over millions of years, the continents were all connected at one point in time, and there is constant geological changes under the crust of the earth.
     We today just sit on top of a thin layer of an ever constantly changing ball of fire. When it moves faster than normal, it certainly wakes us up! Unfortunately, some of the most beautiful places to live are where the changes occur most often. I am sure most would agree, if you were given a choice to live anywhere in the world, some would say the Caribbean, some would say the coast of Florida, the Grand Canyon, the Baja of California, New England, the Andes Mountains, no one place is without any natural occurrence of change.
     We cannot control any of these events; we cannot prevent people from living in areas where the earth changes as fast as a New York minute. No one particular area is exempt from change due to climate, geological or geographical area. What we can do is be sympathetic to there needs when disaster happens. Living in the Northeast myself, I said to myself, “why in the world would anybody want to live in an area that is constantly toiled by Mother Nature?” I then married a woman from the Gulf Coast of Florida and now spend time on St. Pete Beach three times a year to visit family. What a beautiful place to relax!
     After this past winter, I certainly had my share of snow having to shovel every third day, amounting to a bit over five feet in accumulation and over ten feet on either side of my driveway. My state of Connecticut had over 460 structural collapses’ that our USAR team went to evaluate, or make an extraction. This certainly taught me that I was not exempt. I taught me to be more compassionate and appreciative of the area that I call my home. No one chooses to have unfortunate circumstances to be forced upon them, and for some of our fellow Americans, they may not have the resources to help prepare for such emergencies. I today am more mindful to the needs of others when Mother Natures let’s us know that she is still the boss. Glenn Mate

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