It was about a week ago that I woke up and realized that my house was still standing after Hurricane Sandy. The days prior to it were a blur of stocking up on food, batteries, gasoline; taking down all my windchimes (I have a LOT of windchimes) and birdfeeders — and generally gazing at the sky a lot. Not to mention the many big trees in my yard.
When it started to blow, all I could do was pray. And when I saw that I had only suffered a ton of branches down in the yard, I was truly grateful.
There are many, many people in my area that were not so lucky. It’s been hard seeing people who’ve lost literally everything — and it put me in mind of this particular Tarot card:
The Tower shows a King and Queen being knocked out of their supposedly bullet-proof castle and flat onto their ass. Their wealth and prestige is useless. They are humbled before the forces of the Universe. But check out those little yellow “droplets” — they represent the Hebrew word for “wisdom.”
When you are knocked out of your castle — literally or figuratively –you have the option of either sitting in the wreckage, cursing your luck, or trying to learn and grow from the experience. Each person who has suffered from Sandy (that bitch) will have their own path to follow in the aftermath; but in the overview, I would say we have seen some good come out of this disaster. Communities pull together and grow closer. Friends with power are letting other friends without it stay in their homes. One of my neighbors has started a clothing drive. On the long line for coffee at the one place that has juice, people are good-naturedly chatting instead of politely ignoring each other. For crying out loud, my governor, Chris Christie, has practically become sleep-over buddies with President Obama (whom he’d just trashed in a speech a week earlier).
I’m also convinced that the hardships of Sandy will lead to innovation. It was the blizzard of 1884 that led to the creation of the New York City subway system; I betcha five bucks that five years from now, we’ll see some interesting changes in our infrastructure.
So while it was a terrifying 48 hours, Sandy has left something unexpected in her wake: a reminder of our interconnectedness, the fact that we are tribal by nature and do best when we come together. For all of those still picking up the pieces, know that we have your back.