I am not afraid of storms for I am learning how to sail my ship. Louisa May Alcott
As I write this post, it’s five days since an historic snowstorm hit here in the Northeastern United States. This once in a lifetime event (the last time we had an October snowstorm in the New York/New Jersey area was 1952) came in with a vengeance. The storm smashed record snowfall totals, power lines are down, and roadways are still blocked. My children just went back to school today after three days at home and winter doesn’t officially start for seven weeks. It’s a mess, but we are warm and dry and we have power.
At no time do I appreciate my home more than when its first function as shelter is most crucial. With so many leaves still clinging to the trees, crashing trees and branches were inevitable. As the storm raged, I heard branches hitting the roof. I moved to a window and saw several hit the ground, one after another in just a few minutes. The storm raged on into the night, with the sounds outside even scarier for what I could not see. It was frightening and yet I felt protected. Like the bird in its nest, I was swaddled by the shelter I built for myself.
Snow on the pumpkin in October? Who would have thought it? But, you never know what is going to befall you next. Be it a diagnosis of cancer or freak weather conditions, you have to be prepared. And that doesn’t mean just physically by surrounding yourself with four walls to keep out the cold. You also need emotional shelter from the stresses and maladies of life. By creating your warm, safe place to land, you’ve gifted yourself a crucial tool for coping. You’ve given yourself shelter from any storm.
This last storm reminded me once again how much I appreciate my home and all that it gives me. Besides sheltering me physically, it’s the place I share family life, do yoga at home, meditate, and launch my dreams. It’s my nest and my ship or, more precisely, my mast. Whatever comes next, I’m so very lucky to be here, hunkering down with the people I love most in the world when storms hit, and sailing into new territory when skies are clear.
Survival > Existence,
Image courtesy of Louise Leclerc