A hurricane doesn’t look too ominous from a satellite; just a wispy, white circular pattern floating silently on the blue waters.
But, if you get up close and personal with a hurricane, it’s a whole different story. We know the kind of devastation these tropical storms can bring to anyone and anything unfortunate enough to be in its path.
And in Matthew’s path are millions of people, including my son, his wife, and my daughter. Of course, they’ve taken the necessary precautions. My son and daughter-in-law are residents of Cocoa Beach and were evacuated yesterday. Living on barrier islands prompted them to move everything from their first floor to the second floor. They’re waiting out the storm near Orlando with their three cats in a pet-friendly hotel, worried that they won’t have a home to return to.
My daughter was invited to ride out the storm at a coworker’s house. At first she wanted to stay at her studio apartment and I initially agreed. However, as the reports on the impending storm grew increasingly more serious, I advised her to go to her friend’s house. Strength and safety in numbers; I didn’t want her to be alone. When I spoke with her earlier this evening, she was grateful not to be alone.
We make so many choices, large and small, inside of a single day. Our goal is to maintain control over the circumstances of our lives. Do we wear a seatbelt, take the vitamins, accept that job offer? Whether to be healthy and make “safe” decisions that will have a positive impact on our lives. Or, whether to engage in risky behavior that could have detrimental effects.
At first glance it appears that we have a lot of control. And yet, there’s much that we can’t control or predict.
Right now I want desperately to be with my family in Florida. I want to assure my frightened daughter that she is safe and will be okay. I want to allay my son’s fears about his home and help him feel hopeful that maybe the damage won’t be as bad as he’s expecting. I want to make this hurricane turn back out to sea, so it can’t hurt anymore people or cause more destruction.
While I have no control over any of this, I can control how I deal with it and how I help my loved ones deal with it. As long as they are safe, we’ll manage the rest together.