We were all prepared for the storm and it went whizzing right by us, with nary a clap of thunder nor a flooded street.
Most of us were relieved, but I’m sure some kids had counted on getting a couple of days away from school and the weather forecasters are busy wiping the egg from their faces.
For the most part we heeded the warnings and cleaned our eavestroughs and driveway drains. We fueled up our cars, we stocked up our shelves and we charged up our cellphones and lap tops. We shored up our beaches and piled up our sand bags. We bought batteries and candles and put away our patio furniture. But nothing happened.
It reminded me of the story of a Canadian heavyweight boxer who had been struggling in his last few bouts. In preparation for his next fight, he trained daily for six months.
After jogging, biking, sparring, on the road and in the gym, he entered the fight in the best athletic shape of his life. He knocked his opponent cold in less than three minutes of the first round.
After the fight he told his manager, “The fight didn’t even last three minutes. What a waste of time all that training was!”
We are not used to hearing words like typhoon, cyclone, tornado or hurricane in our forecasts. Those are East Coast words reserved for far away countries, so they spurred us into action and now we are probably better prepared for the winter than we normally are at this time of year.
I’m sure there are many strategy meetings in the newsrooms as to how they are going to cover such catastrophic events. No doubt the reporters on the lower end of the scale draw straws to see who is going to be sent out to Tsawwassen to stand in the gales and rain on the ferry terminal and risk a rogue wave or a mighty gust tossing them out into the storm-tossed Pacific surf.
It must be annoying when the anchor back in the studio is sipping hot coffee while they are asking them to describe the scene. Then, just as the wind-blown reporter regains her balance and continues to report how dangerous it is and how important it is to stay away from the area, three wind surfers glide past her in the background waving at the cameras. We West Coasters don’t take life or storms too seriously.
We are always going to have storms in our life. Emotional storms, physical storms, family storms and friend storms. To survive them we have to fuel up and keep energized, stay healthy and prepared for the day-to-day tornadoes and floods of crisis.
We have to shore up our foundations and keep the faith. We have to surround ourselves with those that can be our buffers and keep life from rising over our heads and dragging us down. These are the people we can cling to when the sky gets dark and the gales get too strong.
Most of all, we can’t base our life on the people who always say the sky is falling, the people who tell us we are doomed. Every storm passes.
Buy the batteries and the candles when the sun is shining and build your friendships when the times are good. They’ll all come in handy when the power goes out and the times get tough. Be prepared. At least that’s what McGregor says.