Moving Out of the Fog
I live in South Carolina – just north of Savannah, Georgia. I experienced a September this year like no other. Normally for me Fall is a time of new beginnings. School is starting up again. New goals are established. The skies are clear. It’s easy to focus on both the present and the future. The September of 2017 was different.
I grew up in Kansas City, Missouri, smack dab in the middle of the country. Thunderstorms, lightning, snow, ice, and the occasional tornado were the weather events I grew up with. A lot of sound and fury with some, gentle quiet with others. Not a lot of time to think about what was coming ahead of time.
The move to South Carolina in 2005 brought something new to our lives – the possibility of a hurricane.
We arrived at our new home while Hurricane Katrina was getting up to speed. There was a possibility we would be evacuating before we unpacked.
We went to bed Saturday night not knowing if we would be going to church or evacuating the next morning.
During the night Katrina shifted further west and we watched it move into the Gulf of Mexico.
From 2005 to 2016 we were aware of hurricane season (June through November) but didn’t pay much attention to storms that went in other directions. One time during those years we did install hurricane shields on our windows and glass doors and then the storm went back out to sea so we didn’t need to evacuate.
Last October Hurricane Matthew ended up headed straight at our part of the South Carolina coastline. One afternoon we were at the dentist’s office. The next day we were evacuating.
Things happened quickly last fall. There wasn’t much time to think about what might happen and what we should do. We just acted and then sat in a hotel room with our cat for a few days.
This fall was different. Hurricane Harvey moved through the Gulf of Mexico to flood much of coastal Texas in late August.
Hurricane Irma began forming before the end of August and had reached category 4 strength by Labor Day. For days the scientists were trying to determine where in the United States it would make landfall – certain it would be somewhere in Florida but shifting from the Atlantic Coast to straight up the state to the Gulf Coast.
As the days passed it was obvious that our area was about to be impacted by a major hurricane for the second time in less than a year. Again, our governor was talking about evacuation along the coast.
We had days to think about what might be coming and how we should prepare for it. We located a team of three to put up our fabric shields. They completed the work in about an hour – it had taken Frank and me several hours when we had done it years ago.
This time we went north to Greensboro, North Carolina. Before Irma reached landfall there was already talk of two more major hurricanes – Lee and Maria.
Maria was still a major storm with an uncertain path ahead of her when we got home so we left our fabric shields up.
Now, one of the things we like about the shields was they did let in some light during the day. We felt more like we were in a warm yellow cocoon than in a dark, dank cave.
But it wasn’t normal light. And we still weren’t sure if we would have to leave again.
For close to three weeks we were experiencing stress around hurricane evacuation.
• Do we go or stay?
• When do we return?
• Will we have to go again?
We went through the motions of living our lives, but even now, with Lee dissipating and Maria headed to North Carolina and New England I still feel out of sorts and partially in a fog.
In talking with friends and relatives who lived through Irma in Florida they feel similarly. Even if they didn’t lose power, and whether or not they evacuated, life is just a little off kilter.
Is there a cure for this type of mental fog?
I suspect it is a combination of time, deep breathing, and trust in a higher power that it will all work out for the best.
While we dealt with hurricanes, other parts of the country and world dealt with forest fires, crazy thunderstorms, and major earthquakes.
It would appear that our earth is going through some shifts. Whether you attribute them to global warming, climate changes, or the natural course of events, I don’t think we are through experiencing these kinds of changes.
May your days be less confusing than mine have been the last few weeks and may you feel peace even in chaos.
Latest posts by Mary Lou Stark (see all)
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How do you reconcile being told you are the daughter most like your mother – the chosen one to carry on her work – with being a person in your own right? - December 15, 2017
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We start life confused, go through some times when the path ahead appears to be clear, and then move in and out of confusion again and again. - November 15, 2017
- Moving Out of the Fog
Normally for me Fall is a time of new beginnings. School is starting up again. New goals are established. The skies are clear. - October 15, 2017