Writing is such a valuable anchor for me. Especially when I have so many thoughts circulating in the landscape of my mind. With such a highly unexpected and devastating natural disaster hitting Texas this weekend, it has brought to my mind the idea of impermanence and that, things can change on a dime. We seek stability and routine and assurance constantly as humans, and yet---there will always be things over which we have little/no control and in those moments, we must turn to a greater level of trust and surrender our need to grasp on to what we know.
Realistically speaking, I live in Austin and so we experienced a heavy rainfall on Saturday afternoon but not a lot of flooding and today as I sit on the back porch, I feel a cool breeze and see a grey but rain-less sky. All seems to have calmed down again here. I took precautions though and drove as little as I could get away with--hunkering down at my boyfriend's house with three very large dogs--moving all my clients to next weekend. We were fortunate here on the cleaner side of the storm. But Houston, the city I grew up in, is a different story.
My parents decided, after having gone through the Memorial Day Flood back in 2015, that they were not about to stick around for another one and so, on Saturday morning, they drove to Dallas with my sisters and their kids. Their house was destroyed two years ago, with 4 feet of water, and so since then, they moved closer to downtown away from the bayou---but, this event seems to have swept through the city with a much greater impact and people are being told not to return until further notice. That is where the uncertainty kicks in. What this week will bring for my family is unknown. What it will bring for others who stuck around and camped out on the top floor or the roof of their homes is startling. There is no knowing.
Today I feel a swirl of emotions. I feel care and concern for my family. I feel sadness for those in Houston who are seeing the unpredictable nature of this storm, hoping that the worst of it is over. I feel slowed down in my own life in certain ways, a pause from the usual ways of being. I feel strength in my ability to be strong for those who might not have the resources or abilities to be strong and safe within themselves right now. The Social Worker inside of me is awake and listening, ready with an open heart, open arms, and a willing spirit to help where I can.
Let us not forget how precious this human life is. We only get this one. Pema Chodron says, “Life is a good teacher and a good friend. Things are always in transition, if we could only realize it. Nothing ever sums itself up in the way that we like to dream about. The off-center, in-between state is an ideal situation, a situation in which we don’t get caught and we can open our hearts and minds beyond limit. It’s a very tender, nonaggressive, open-ended state of affairs. To stay with that shakiness—to stay with a broken heart, with a rumbling stomach, with the feeling of hopelessness and wanting to get revenge—that is the path of true awakening. Sticking with that uncertainty, getting the knack of relaxing in the midst of chaos, learning not to panic—this is the spiritual path.”