It’s dark and I am sitting by candlelight writing this on my living room floor.
For several days now we have been bunked up in our house as hurricane force winds and rain swirled by. This is Hurricane Irma, called a “monster storm” by the media, it has turned South Florida into a land of panic. With the path uncertain, South Floridans packed up and hauled out of the state in a mass exodus. Fear on every radio station. Fear on every TV channel. One reporter even said south Florida “will be under water for the next few months.”
She’s an angry one – this hurricane. Even her name “Irma” means “Goddess of war,” “wind,” “constant movement” and “whole, entire.”
Over the past few months I have been working to strengthen my intuition, understand my value and worth, and stay true to my beliefs, even when others don’t understand. Hurricane Irma, here terrorizing my land, ripping trees from their roots, leaving destruction and chaos in her wake, has been one of my greatest challenges. Will you stand your ground even with a hurricane outside? Will you fill yourself with faith over fear? Or will you succumb to your old negative patterns? Will you run and hide?
Should I Stay or Should I Go?
On Monday we heard about the storm. I was curious – read ll the articles, watched all the news reports – but somehow never felt fear. I did question if we should leave. I even researched the cost of hotels in Georgia, but my gut, my intuition, was telling me to stay. My husband and I were in agreement. He studied Meteorology and Climatology in college and so he watched the path and the radar very intently. He kept saying it seemed like they were misjudging the path. Still, we were unsure exactly which way the hurricane would turn. So instead we prepared, we bought food and supplies, we put up our hurricane shutters and got ready to bunker down for a few days. I felt clear in my faith.
Over the days preparing for the storm I saw many of my friends packing up and leaving south Florida. People questioned my decision to stay, some were even venomous and hateful. I received texts wishing us well and I received some texts letting us know we were making the wrong decision and we were risking too much.
Clearing the Dust
Through the worried energy swirling around this hurricane, my angels continued to guide, “there’s nothing to worry about.” And then “everything is okay.” and then the biggest one, “you don’t have to justify it.”
Every time I wrote back to someone, I deleted my text. “You don’t have to justify.” Prepared another email to a friend, “you don’t have to justify.” Responded to a Facebook comment, “you don’t have to justify.”
As my faith grew, I felt a clear understanding of the importance of this storm. When things go wrong, some people throw their hands in the air and shout, “why me?” Others hit the ground running and realize “this is bigger than me.” From the start I knew this storm was about community, clearance, faith, and uncovering the truth. Sometimes the wind wipes away the dust so you can see clearly.
I started clearing my space. Looking around my home I kept thinking, “what do I need? What do I need?” If I had to run out of here with no notice, what would I take? And what I found was, I didn’t need very much. Some clothes, books, my writings, photographs. I kept saying to Mishka, “I am enough, I have enough, it is enough.”
As I was cleaning and clearing I kept noticing how much “enough” I really had. I remembered when I moved from Kenya with two boxes and a suitcase. How much have I accumulated since then? Is it really necessary? And how could I still feel poor inside with so many things on the outside? Over the past few months I have been working on my self worth and value, learning to charge what I am working.
Irma forced me to look at my possessions, my house, my things and find gratitude. If all of these things were suddenly gone, would I still be valuable?
Angels Protect the Fortress
On Friday night before the hurricane, I cleaned the house, did the dishes and made some dinner. I burned sage, palo santo and incense. I blessed the home and as I walked from room to room, I asked Archangel Michael, my angels, and divine source to fortify the house and protect all corners of the home. With strong conviction, I asked Archangel Michael to stand with sword and shield throughout the hurricane and keep us safe.
As the storm billowed through we sat by candlelight. It was crazy outside at times and we listened to the small solar powered radio to hear what was going on outside in the world. When it was all done we stepped outside to see our environment. Trees were uprooted, electrical wires down, and the neighborhood in disarray, but all houses in our neighborhood still standing! So much gratitude.
Seeing the community come together has been amazing. There has been nothing but love from my neighbors, strangers, people coming together. It has been lovely to see it and this is the kind of unity we need as a people. We are one. My mother and I cooked up a nice meal before the power went out and we filled the home with love. After the hurricane our neighbors have come together and offered food and more. AT&T sent me a text message saying all data and fees would be removed during the time of the hurricane. Jet Blue organized a food truck extravaganza to offer free hot meals to those without power. Dunkin Donuts opened immediately after the storm, making fresh donuts and coffee for hungry South Floridians. And Living Green, a local grocery store chain let people know on Facebook to come and get free produce as their power was out. It was so beautiful to be part of this community!
Overcoming the Fear
So why did I choose to stay? Because I knew the potential dangers of going. The gas shortage, the hundreds of miles to cover, and the fact that I would have no idea if I was even going to a safer place, kept me in my home. I had some friends travel for three days, or some who traveled right into the path of the storm. Others waited in long lines trying to find gas. My intuition told me to stay. I have doubted myself in the past and ended up going in the wrong direction.
This time I chose to stand still.
In the chaos I found so much and I am so grateful that my family is safe. We were not in an evacuation zone nor were we ordered to leave by the governor. If that had been the case, perhaps my experience would have been a little different.
I send massive prayers and healing to my fellow FLORIDIANS in West Florida and in the Florida Keys and to those in the Caribbean islands who lost everything. If you would like to help, please take a look at 14 ways you can help Hurricane iIrma victims.
For now, I am counting my blessings and remembering the little things that make me smile: my home, my family, my dog, my land.