Power is slowly, but surely, coming back. Debris is being cleared. What was broken is being rebuilt. Tampa is returning to normal. Soon we will be able to sit down and reflect.
What has Hurricane Irma taught us? Here are our initial thoughts:
• If you accept what you cannot change, then you will be given serenity.
• No man (or woman – blame John Donne) is an island – especially when a Category 5 hurricane is bearing down upon that island.
• We are truly blessed.
Peace comes when you accept what you cannot change. Irma did what Irma wanted to do. Nothing you did could change that. Whether you:
~ watched enough of the Weather Channel to qualify for a PhD in Meteorology.
~ invested in a cloud seeding machine.
~ closed your eyes, clicked your heels together, and said ‘There’s No Storm Called Irma!’
Irma did exactly what it was going to do. Is it not true for so much? Unfortunately storms come in many forms in our life: broken vows, financial bankruptcy, physical ailments, and sometimes actual storms. When we put energy into trying to control the uncontrollable it only leads to frustration. Frustration leads to anger. Anger leads to the Dark Side – sorry, just channeling my inner Yoda for a second. But think about the times you tried to control things you could not change. Did it EVER go well? Yeah, us neither.
However, accepting what you cannot change gives you serenity. The grip of worry is released when we surrender. Gone is the stress. In its place is peace. In the peace comes clarity. In clarity we can focus on changing the things we can.
What can we do? In the face of Irma we could prepare. That meant either planning for an evacuation or bracing for the storm. In the process of preparing to stay many of faced long lines for supplies. Often these lines ended in empty shelves. Again, we couldn’t control the availability of supplies. What we could control was our attitude and our actions. In this case being patient. We also had the choice to take what we needed and leave some for the next person. Why choose that? because…No One is an Island
We need each each other. We are stronger together. As we the winds rose the best of who we are rose as well. Social media was flooded with promised prayers, well-wishing, and invitations of sanctuary. Neighbors helped each other to board windows and gather supplies. After the storm left us the support did not. People helped clean debris. Those with power offered a cool refuge to those without. Food and water have been handed out. Some raised money. Others raised hope. Together we are strong. This is the true Tampa. considering it all…
We Are Blessed
We have good neighbors – in this we are blessed.
Many of us lost power. It has been difficult to be sure. Think of all that was not available to us without electricity: air-conditioning, lighting, ovens, refrigerators, and cellphones. Gas became unavailable for a time. Life without mechanized transportation became a real thought. Having gone without for a short period of time made us realize the extraordinary gift of living in a modernized ‘first world city.’ In this we are blessed.
In spite of the occasional storm, Tampa is a paradise. It is beautiful, warm, and vibrant. In this we are blessed.
May we be gracious. May we be thankful. May we be TampaTrue.