Updated: Nov 11, 2020
Love letters to Self pt 8
The forces of nature
If being in a hurricane was on my checklist for life, I would have ticked this box in the last few weeks.
Somehow in all my life, I escaped all natural disasters. Living most of my life in Europe, pretty sheltered from extreme weather I was amazed when I moved to the Caribbean to get in touch with the real forces of nature.
Here in the Mayan Riviera tropical storms are quite common, and a good reminder how we really don't have any control. I remember a couple of years ago there was so much seaweed washed to shore and piled up just rotting there all summer, emitting poisonous fumes and turning black the turquoise waters of the Caribbean sea. The local authorities made several failed attempts to deal with the situation, however the forces of nature kept pushing back relentlessly, flooding us with more and more seaweed. Eventually everybody gave up trying, and resigned to the fact that there are times when we have to surrender to the forces of nature.
A few weeks later a tropical storm arrived, and voila, the sea and the beach was clean again. From one day to another, the piles of rotting seaweed was all gone, and the beach was renewed. The Caribbean colors shone even more brightly, and we were filled with a deeper sense of connection to nature and an appreciation of life in general. Seaweed came, now it is gone, in its own timing and rhythm. There was no human effort effective enough to stop this natural flow.
The eye of the storm
Two weeks ago, a category 3 hurricane hit the small beach town I currently live in. There was enough advanced notice to prepare, but even the day before the hurricane everything was so peaceful and normal that it was hard to believe that a big storm is coming.
The hurricane was forecasted to arrive late that night, or early morning the next day. The electricity was turned off around 9pm, before the storm arrived. I remember the total darkness, silence and heavy blanket of heat and humidity enveloping me in my apartment.
Late at night, the wind started to blow stronger, and some rain arrived also. You know, the fast blowing wind makes a loud, eerie sound that is exhilarating and scary at the same time. With time the wind got stronger and started to push against the fully loaded wardrobe, in front of the main window. The wardrobe starts to sway slightly, and I was calculating madly in my mind how safe I was, in the dark, in my bed after all?
Soon all kinds of fears started growing in my mind, I saw a tsunami coming and all of us drowning in the house. I had to light a candle and do some breathing exercise to calm down and remind myself that this too shall pass, and that I am safe for the moment, so no reason to be afraid just right now.
Of course I couldn't sleep all night.
After some hours the wind quieted down, and I knew that the eye of the storm has arrived. Everything became quiet again. I went outside, but everything was dark, no stars, no light. I grabbed a torch and walked down to the beach to look at the water. The sea was very high tide, like I have never seen before, but quiet with soft long waves. The air was warm, moist and lovely. It was a strangely invigorating feeling and somehow empowering to be in the dark, alone, in the eye of the storm.
Soon the wind started blowing softly again so I went home, feeling more calm, kind of knowing what to expect for the second half of the storm. I stayed awake, in my bed, entertaining some fears, sometimes dozing off, until the wind calmed down and a new day was born. I couldn't wait to go out to look around, and see all that happened.
Renewal, after the storm
First, I saw all the trees and branches fallen on the street, electric wires hanging everywhere with the background of a cloudy morning on a rainy day. I walked down quickly to the beach to put my feet in the water and enjoy the fresh air. The clouds were hanging low and wore the shades of grey, but the water was calm with long waves and darker shades of green. It was the end of the storm passing through, taking all the next day. There was no traffic, no power, and very little cellphone service. But there was coming together, sharing breakfast with neighbors, making a fire to brew some coffee and a lot of voluntary work to clean the streets and make sure that everybody was okay and safe.
The following morning after that, there was a beautiful sunrise but somehow different, almost like a soft introduction of warm colors after the many shades of green and grey. Later that day, the sun fully came out and the Caribbean became infused again with sunlight and vibrant colors. The next morning mother nature greeted us with a most magnificent light show and colorful sunrise that I have ever seen, wow. Just two days after the storm. Nature restored not only to it's former glory but to her even more magnificent beauty.
I was standing there, in awe, so many feelings rushing through me. I felt the perfection of it all, the balance restored, the old taken away, cleared out and purified and the new world being born. I was thinking how this hurricane is a perfect metaphor for this year of 2020 for me.
The gifts of the storm
I am grateful that I am alive, safe and nurtured in this world. I am grateful for this storm for passing through my life and help me to remember some important principles to navigate life, including the stormy times.
1. This too shall pass
Life goes on. Nothing lasts forever. We all feel sometimes overwhelmed, tired and afraid but then time passes and things change, and you wonder, what was I so afraid of
2. Purification creates renewal, rebirth
There are times of necessary purification so renewal can happen and balance can be restored.
There are times of planting the seeds, time for growing, harvest and time for letting go and clearing out. Everything changes, renews, is born, dies and reborn. The cycles and rhythms of life will carry on.
3. Nature is divine intelligence
Life is resilient. I was reminded by the storm that the innate creative life force inherent in all beings has immense power to change, transform, renew, recreate, reorganize itself in order to move towards equilibrium and balance.
4. Go with the flow
This divine creative force, life organizing principle reminds me to surrender and let go in the moments of intensity. There is time to withdraw and wait, and there is time to come together and rebuild. The only thing I can really control is my attitude and my response.
5. Support is always right where you are
The benevolent Universe and divine organizing life force always provides guidance and support to embody our higher expression. However we need to be ready, open, and willing to perceive and receive this support. When you remember that you are not alone, and help is always available new doors will open and suddenly you will see everything you want or need is right there waiting to be received.
These were my gifts of the storm.
And I share a secret with you, I believe all this to be true not just for a physical storm.
It can be a mental-emotional storm. Or even a spiritual storm, some kind of crisis, breakdown, personal disaster.
Storms are part of life. They will come and pass.
How can we be riders of the storm?
With all my love