Safely (I hope) cocooned in my Harlem apartment, I hear Hurricane Irene beginning her dramatic entrance into New York City. The normally carnival like atmosphere of my street has been usurped by heavy rain and building wind. We’ve had quite a week - an earthquake on Tuesday and now a hurricane that is predicted to be so powerful that NYC authorities have made the unprecedented decision to completely shut down the entire mass transit system.
For many of us, the first reaction was frustration. Why did a hurricane have to hit on the last weekend of August? What do you mean I have to cancel my vacation? Doesn’t Irene know that I have plans, very important plans? Well, hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, and other forces of nature don’t care about our plans. Yes, our technology is often able to predict the storm but we can’t stop it.
This weekend there won’t be any little black dresses, fancy soirees, or spur of the moment getaways on my agenda and I’m fine with that. I am praying that we pass through this storm unharmed but changed. Changed so that we truly value time with those we love. Changed so that we appreciate the gift of stillness. Changed so that we don’t let our plans get in the way of cherishing the moment, even the stormy ones.