I've been getting a lot of concerned 'be safe' messages because of Hurricane Harvey. I appreciate everyone worrying but we are safe, thank you. Sadly unlike the Texas coast which is getting chewed up and spit out we are merely wet and inconvenienced a bit. What a terrible thing this hurricane is. It's almost beyond imagining unless you have lived through such a thing before. It is just terrifying to experience such a situation where most everything is literally out of your control. We are accustomed to being the Captain of our own ship and then to learn that actually, not so much, will really take the wind out of your sails, so to speak. My thoughts and prayers are with everyone there.
But of course it got me thinking of where the line is. You know the one, the line we all walked when we were young and foolish. The line between exciting and dangerous, that step between exhilarating and stupid sometimes is a narrow one. Witnessing the ocean in a normal storm is unlike anything else I know. That calm, sweet, gentle wave that even a toddler can splash in become a dervish determined to smash itself to bits on the rocks. The power of it is amazing to witness.
It is a raw and untamed beauty for sure. Like observing tigers and rhinos in the wild. Ferocious but beautiful none the less. To observe. From a safe distance. But it seems to me that is where the line gets crossed.
We went to the jetty, one of our favourite places here on the island to watch the water do it's storm dance. It's tricky because of the rain. If we turn off the wipers for me to take my photo, the window is immediately too wet to see anything, if we turn the wipers back on I have to time the shot perfectly. I end up with a lot of pictures that look like this:
Take a look at the "Jetty Closed" sign. That means closed as in shut as in No ! See the barricade? This was placed in such a way that it would be difficult for anyone to walk out onto the actual jetty, not the parking lot where we were. I'm pretty sure that they were serious about it. It wasn't just a suggestion. It means do NOT go out there. So we did not. Of course we didn't. We value our wrinkled old hides. But we saw someone on a jet ski and two people on surf boards and a few other people who just walked around the sign as if it weren't there. Or at least as if the sign didn't apply to them.
Newsflash. It does apply to you. No matter how bullet proof you may think you are, Mother Nature is the one who gets to make that final determination. She doesn't care what you think and she is in charge.
I actually do get the draw. When we visited Niagra falls, on the Canadian side, you can pretty much walk right up to the edge of the falls. There is a mid-calf high wooden barrier but it would be very simple to step over. I suspect that Canada's attitude is, "Well if you are that freakin' stupid..go head!" Whereas here in the US we are terrified of being sued so you cannot get anywhere NEAR the falls. Anyway, we stood, on the proper, safe side of the barrier by the way, and starred at the falls. It was mesmerizing. Almost hypnotic. I understand how it calls to you. But you do not have to answer. Or the answer can be, no thanks.
When we lived in Colorado we had a couple of up too close experiences with wildfires, tornadoes and blizzards. In Connecticut it was N'oreasters, blizzards and the occasional spin-off tornado. Every other place I've ever lived, there was always something trying to endanger your life. Don't help it along.
The people in the path of the Hurricane have little choice. And again, if you have never had to live through it, you cannot possibly understand. When you evacuate, you have no idea what, if anything, you are coming home to. The evacuation process alone is horrible. Grabbing those few little necessities and leaving for...where? Where do you go that there aren't already a zillion other refugees. And refugee you are! I think it's the lack of control over the situation that is the worst. That and the not knowing. How long will it last, what is happening what will I find when it's all over, is everyone safe? As I already said, it's completely out of your hands.
So, the point here is, when you have the line in front of you, when you are tempted by the adrenaline rush to cross it, when you have the option, don't be an idiot. Save your own life and that of the first responder who is going to now going to have to risk their own life to save you.
Be smart and do not listen to that siren call of excitement. When you have the choice, make the better decision.
Hugs all 'round and my thoughts and prayers to everyone in Texas.
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.