It’s Saturday morning and I sit here in front of my computer, sipping coffee and thinking about the day ahead. The Web sites I frequent are buzzing about Irene, of course – some more than others. Soon I will leave for Mystic to help prepare our servers for the storm by moving critical systems to a safer location than they currently reside in. I fear that Mystic is in a much more vulnerable situation than our home in Norwich is. Hopefully, the museum will be spared much of the carnage that is all too often the result of a hurricane. To the younger crowd that is often excited about the prospect of a hurricane and looking forward to witnessing one, all I can say is that you will probably feel differently when it’s over – assuming you come through it alright. If nothing else, let’s see how we deal with the lack of power that usually ensues – something many of us take for granted and have become so dependent on in our modern lives. I have been through more than one and have never particularly enjoyed any of them.
I have been through hurricanes before, with Gloria being the worst (I lived and worked in Mystic at the time). Of course, this one will not compare to Gloria, as it has already lost some strength well before its arrival – but nonetheless, it will be bad enough. The initial rhetoric being tossed about placed Irene between the hurricane of 1938 and Gloria in severity, with some forecasters chanting things like “for most of you in New England, this will be worst storm in your lifetime” and similar talk. Great for audience retention I suppose, but a bit over the top for my tastes. In fact, I find some of it offensive and insulting to people’s intelligence. Many would argue that they cannot underscore the severity of a hurricane – and I get that. But I hold suspect many of their true motives.
I hate to sound so cynical -but for some, news is money. Bad news is more money. I acknowledge that most reporters are likely to be people of integrity -whose sole desire and intention is to inform the uniformed public. But I also believe there is an element, not so honorable, that likes to cash in on the attention that things like Irene can provide.
The storm is bad, for sure. Anybody would be a fool not to seek safe haven and take every precaution they can to stay out of harm’s way, stock up on food, water, batteries and what-not. But after that, as is often the case with things in life, we have just to wait it out and feel the powerlessness we all have over Mother Nature that is all too often forgotten in this dazzling age of technology.
That being said, I shall go about my business today as usual -with some small twists necessary by the pending advent of Irene. These are the times I am glad I have a Higher Power I can turn to that helps alleviate my fears (if I let Him) and also a time to acknowledge the gratitude I have for living in New England, which is often spared much of the catastrophic weather-related events of the present age.
Best of luck to everybody as we wait out this storm.
OK – here comes some encouraging words from the Bible:
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change and though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains quake at its swelling pride. Selah. The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah. Psalm 46:1-3,7