Hurricane Isaac just brushed by. Only a few days ago, it seemed that he was headed straight for us and so we prepared. We spent two days carrying tools and books and the artifacts of a lifetime to our second floor. My husband boarded up our windows while I filled the pantry with food, the first aid kit with supplies and the refrigerator with containers of water. Then we hitched up the boat and headed for higher ground. By the time we left home, Isaac had already changed course and was no longer a direct threat, but it only takes a 5 foot surge to inundate our house; predictions for our area were a 3-6 foot surge. Why take a chance?
We came home the next day to a house that was high and dry. Instead of just putting everything back where it was, we are going to take this opportunity to do some deep cleaning -- and to get rid of some of the stuff that no longer serves us.
Not everyone was as lucky as we were. The low-lying areas of Louisiana are still getting pounded by Isaac's slow moving progress, relentless rains and winds. Even here, the wind is still whipping up white-caps and bending palms.
I walked out to our dock this morning and paid my respects to Isaac's power, and it came to me that there is a lot we can learn from storms.
*Even the most educated predictions are never wholly accurate -- each storm is unique and while we may project the path and potential of a storm, there are always unknowns.
*It is wise to heed the warnings. We may not know exactly what is coming, but being prepared and having options is always a smart thing.
*While storms bring great destruction and lasting change, there are always silver linings. That may be really cliché, but true nonetheless.
So the lessons of a storm: Be prepared, be flexible, accept that the future cannot be known with any certainty, and look for the good that comes in a storm’s wake. I also believe that storms can be messengers. If so, then the message of Isaac is that the time has come to move to higher ground -- both literally and figuratively.