Peace to those in storm’s path

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 31, 2012

At this moment, the aroma of the chicken I’m boiling to make chicken and dumplings fills my house. As I sit typing, the heater hums while a chilly breeze pushes against the window. I am warm and safe and soon will sit down to a nice hot lunch.

Outside my mama dog and her puppy nap in the sunshine while one of my cats stalks a lizard. Leaves blow across the yard and the wind whips soft waves on the lake. It’s a beautiful fall day.

Miles from where I sit, thousands of people are without electricity. In the Northeast, the water Hurricane Sandy pushed into homes and businesses hasn’t completely receded and fierce winds still blow.

It is so strange to be enjoying such a beautiful day when at this same moment so many are in shelters wondering what is left of the homes they evacuated. Many of the ones who remained in their apartment buildings and homes are without power and may be that way for days.

Those of us who live in this part of the country are not strangers to hurricanes and how they can turn lives upside down. In the past, we were one of those families who waited for days for our lights to return. Folks around here and along the Florida coast know about washed-out roads and trees lying on top of houses.

Maybe that is why I feel, why we all feel, so much empathy for those who were in the path of this history-making storm. We’ve been there and we know it takes time and patience for things to get back to normal. Perhaps this is even truer in places as densely populated as the ones hit by this storm.

Still, in the midst of this kind of weather crisis and its aftermath, we see the best of humans come shining through. Funny, how tragedy brings out the overwhelming good in people.

Even before the storm hit, power crews were ready to go to places that might need their help. Already people are asking what they can do to help those hit so hard. These are people far from where they live, people they don’t know and will never know.

What we feel at times like this is our kinship. It doesn’t matter if we personally know the names and faces of those who need help. All that matters is they are our human brothers and sisters.

It is interesting that this storm happened to hit in the midst of an election that is so divisive. And, it was heartening to see both campaigns suspend campaigning in the wake of a crisis. Nice to know that when there is a real need for unity, we can stop and both sides can come together to care for those who need care.

So as I sit warm and comfortable with the aroma of chicken and dumplings filling my house, I think about the words I use in one of my favorite meditations.

It is a compassion meditation, one that asks us to extend caring, compassion and love first to ourselves and then to all who need it. So, to those touched by this storm I send this meditation wish.

May you be well.

May you be safe.

May you be free from suffering.

May you know peace.