Friday, 31 January 2014

Ready for the Storm

As I write this, my little town is bracing itself for yet another storm.  As far as I can guess, the wind is already around gale force on the Beaufort scale. Sir Francis Beaufort who devised this method of recording the strength of storms in 1805, was an Irishman serving in the Royal Navy aboard HMS Woolwich.  I can see why an Irishman would be interested in gale force winds.  This year we have experienced more than enough high winds and sea surges.  The next red warning is for later this evening and tonight.  High tide, with possible surges to match, is due here in my little town at 5 pm this evening.  The local council is busy erecting barriers but I am not sure that the wall near where I live will be fully built in time for tonight.  

There is nothing anyone can do in a storm except take as many precautions as possible and then simply ride it out.  At some stage it will go away.  I couldn't help thinking that that is what life is like, too.  One day you are in calm waters and all is well, then something happens which throws you off course.  It could be illness, losing your job, being involved in an accident.  You are left punch-drunk, wondering how this all happened, where did it all come from and how are you going to get over it?   And the miracle of life is that we all do get over it.  True, we may have a few scars, we may be limping a bit, but at some stage we shake ourselves and realise that it is behind us, that we can move on with our lives.

When I was diagnosed with breast cancer I felt as if someone had pulled not only the rug but the entire floor from under my feet.  I was faced with my own mortality which was a very frightening experience.  But after a few weeks the will to survive, to endure, kicked in.  Now six and a half years later, I am back on track, I often forget that I had cancer until I get my check-up appointment.  And I am endlessly thankful for having my health and strength back again.

So, as I watch the rain cascading down the windows, driven by gusts of wind, I prepare myself for when the full force of the storm hits.  But I also know that "this too will pass." 

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