Friday, November 01, 2013

Wind and Sirens

All I can hear is the wind and sirens.

And so began a blog entry I wrote a year ago when Hurricane Sandy slammed into the New York area. While I had electricity that night, the storm had taken out my television, telephone, and Internet connection.

I am writing a post that no one can read,” I wrote. “I’d be completely off the grid if it weren’t for the cell phone and the radio. So I guess they weren’t kidding….

I’m writing this on an unusually warm autumn day. But things were different a year ago.

The winds are wailing all around my house. From my third floor window I can see the tops of the trees being whipped from side to side. Hurricane Sandy has arrived and she is stomping all over this corner of the world.

I was going through another one of my back episodes at the time and could hardly walk. While I was accustomed to being stuck in my house, I wrote that the hurricane “makes me feel even more cut off.”

I have to write because there’s nothing else to do.

I wrote about feeling old and isolated, about being stranded. I went on about how I had a million things to do, “but the weather and my physical condition have pushed me into a corner.”

I had no idea that so many people were dying that night; that so many people were losing their homes and all their possessions. It was like I was in bathysphere sunk deep into a black ocean.

I didn’t realize how lucky I was, that losing my cable service for 12 days was nothing compared with what so many others were going through. Yet looking back at my post-storm entries, I devoted so much space to complaining about not being able to watch TV or screw around on the web.

I’m sorry I reacted so foolishly. Being cut off from the world, I didn’t appreciate how people had suffered and, in fact, continue to suffer. I wish I could’ve been more grateful for coming through such a nightmare unscathed. I’d like to think I learned something.

I truly see how much time I waste on the web,” I wrote in my unseen entry. “I’ve been tempted several times during the writing of this post to check my email list or Facebook or any number of news sites. It’s time to recharge my vow to spend more time writing and less time surfing.

That vow still needs work. I can feel my attention span crumbling as I flit from one website to another each night. How much of this alleged “information” do I retain? And what good is any of it when disaster strikes?

Today is All Saint’s Day. I had the day off, so I watched the lunchtime service at Trinity Church on the Internet.

“God is counting on you to be holy,” Rev. Mark told the congregation. “God wants you to be blessed and to be a blessing for others. God wants you to be a saint.”

I’m a long way from being a saint, to put it mildly, but I think being thankful for what I have is a step in the right direction.


Ron said...

"I think being thankful for what I have is a step in the right direction."

Amen, Rob! And I think we ALL need to be reminded of that, so thank YOU for posting this today. And it's ironic you shared about gratitude because for the past several weeks that has been on my mind - to remember to be thankful for all the blessings I have in my life.

I think with all the turmoil going on in the world today, it's so easy to focus on the "negatives" rather than the "positives” and the “have-not’s” rather than the “haves.”

God, I can hardly believe that Hurricane Sandy was a YEAR ago because it seems like yesterday yet, it seems as though it was ages ago. This past year has flown by, hasn't it?

Sometimes I think things like Hurricane Sandy happen has a strong reminder to us of what's really important in life – the valuable things that matter – our interconnections to people and our overlooked blessings.

"…and to be a blessing for others."

And you are, buddy. You are a great blessing to me and many others.

And don’t ever forget that.

Have a super weekend!

FAB post!

Rob K said...

Hey, Ron, thank you so much. I certainly consider your friendship a great blessing indeed.

As you rightly point out, it is far to easy to get caught up on all the negatives and forget about the positive things in our lives.

And it is hard to believe that a year has passed since Sandy came our way.

Have a great weekend, buddy, and thanks for all your kindness toward me.

Bijoux said...

Sandy was a wake up call to a lot of us. It was the first time I remember a hurricane affecting us this far north and west. A friend of mine a few miles away was without power for 9 days.

Oddly, we had hurricane like winds again on Halloween night this year! Lost our power for about 5 hours, so nothing drastic. Weird though, like a Sandy ghost came through here!

Rob K said...

Yikes, Bijoux, I didn't know about the Sandy ghost! Hope all is okay.

No power for 9 days would have me batty!

CrystalChick said...

It's never too late or too little to just be thankful for what we have.
I need to work on finding balance with some thing too. We all probably do.
An acquaintance of mine recently said that she couldn't finish some repair work on her house (caused by the hurricane) because funds weren't available. Her place is livable though so she had few complaints as others had it so much worse and lost everything.

Rob K said...

I love the way you think, Mary! It really is never too late to give thanks.

I admire your friend for going on in such conditions and keep the complaints low. I need to follow her example.

Take care.