It has been a week here in Oklahoma as everyone knows. Sunday, May 19th a tornado hit Shawnee - 2 died - & Monday, May 20th an EF 5 hit Moore - 24 died. We knew from weather reports that a bad storm was headed out of Newcastle (which also was hit by a tornado) toward Moore. The news helicopters were up & the storm chasers were out, & we watched the whole thing on TV at my office. You could see the storm gathering energy, you could see the flashes as it hit power lines. You could see the debris flying as it continued to grow and gain power. Then it hit Moore. No we did not see it actually hit the schools and houses but as it moved on & was being tracked again by the storm chasers we saw the devastation just moments after. Then we watched the tornado, still on the ground, keep moving until we saw it begin to weaken, then rope up & disappear back into the clouds. Tornadoes are frightening, devastating, but they are a thing of beauty that carry the wrath of Nature, of elements banging against each other with perfect timing of pressure, temperature, & unknown power.
I was born & raised in Oklahoma. I was taught to "watch the clouds" at a very young age. I still watch. I can read the weather (my son always found that funny because I did it all the years we did not live in Oklahoma - when we lived places that had never seen a tornado, but still I watched). I can tell you if a cold front is approaching or if a wall cloud is forming. I can tell you how bad winter is going to be by looking at the coats the animals are growing. I can tell if it is going to snow or rain by smell. I have outrun storms & tornadoes all my life. We never went to the cellar when I was a kid & to this day I do not go. I know logically that in a storm with the capability of being an EF 4 or EF 5 that underground is the best place to be, but I just cannot do it. I think it has something to do with my panic/anxiety attacks. I strongly dislike tight enclosed places. But I do hunker down with my fur-babies in an inside closet with pillows when the sirens go off, & I am always poised to cover them with my body. The Boys watch out for me & I am responsible for them. Zane is affectionately called Zane the Weather Dog because he can sense a storm before it gets close. Several years ago I knew there was a bad one coming because of Zane's behavior. He was right. So, if he isn't freaked out, I see no reason for me to be worried.
I was raised by men who read tracks, could tell you whether a car had been in your driveway that day or the day before. I am intuitive & superstitious (I am Irish & Native American so I got a double dose of both). I get a feel for people by shaking hands, and sometimes I don't want to shake because the energy is so bad coming off that person. I can tell if someone has been in my house just by walking inside. I feel the energy they leave behind. This has only happened a couple of times in my life but I have been right each time.
So, it has been a tragic, sorrowful week in Oklahoma. But weeks like this certainly put things into perspective. While there is a lot going on for me personally, none of it is tragic or sorrowful. I'm not loosing my life or home or car or loved ones. I have lost loved ones...I know that pain. Material things can be replaced, homes rebuilt, cars replaced. Lives lost leave a hole that cannot be filled.
Life is precious, fleeting. It is meant to be lived fully in the Now, fully present. This moment may be all you have. Don't waste it thinking about tomorrow or yesterday. You cannot change either of them. One is gone, the other may never arrive. And, one day, for each of us tomorrow will not arrive. So, LIVE, LOVE, LAUGH!! Do those things you said you would do "one day"...today is the day. Wear that "Special" outfit...what is more special than today?!?!? Use that expensive perfume. Wear your nice jewelry. Use the "good" dishes every day. Don't wait for anything "until". Until the kids are grown, until we retire, until the house is paid off, until the car is paid, until ... until...until!
Tragedy changes a person. Who you were five minutes before is not who you are when you emerge from the ruins. The person who emerged is who you will be, in some way, forever. You will never recover fully but you will go on, you will move forward, you will live. The essence of your Spirit is changed. How you live with the change is up to you. It can harden you, destroy you, or it can lift you up to a higher purpose. But forever it will define you. You will always remember where you were that day & who was with you. There will always be a certain look deep in your eyes that will never completely fade away. I know those days that are forever etched in your heart. Those days that can be brought back in an instant. Those days that transport you back in time to "that place."
While I cannot compare my days to the days of this week, I have been transported back in time to places I thought I had long ago left behind. Somehow I am back there right now. I was there before the storms hit because my own private storm had already hit. But I am soldiering on, moving forward, doing what I need to in order to put those places & events behind me once & for all. Or at least get a better handle on dealing with them when the past rears its ugly head.
I am strong. I do know that about myself because I have survived. I am capable. I know this because I continue to get up every day & do what must be done. I have thrived these almost 20 yrs. In many ways, I am better than I have ever been. So, this is simply a bump in the road...a part of the Shift that is occurring & that many people I know are feeling. There are big changes coming. Big changes...