Expose yourself to your deepest fear, and after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free.
People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.
~Thich Nhat Hanh
It’s very breezy today. It continues to be hot and humid, but the wind feels good. I hesitate to praise it since I know it’s coming from the outer bands of Hurricane Florence. I hope that those who are in her path did what they needed to do to stay safe. I hope those who decided to stay anyway come through unscathed. As of this writing, the storm has not yet made landfall. By all accounts, even with the weakening of the storm, things are not going to be good.
Earlier today I mentioned to a friend that I don’t understand my fear of storms. There was a time when I loved storms, when I would go out in a good storm and feel exhilarated by the elements. It was my experience with a tornado that caused me to fear storms, and that happened so long ago (30+ years ago) that I don’t understand why I continue to carry it with me. If I could somehow erase the memory of that experience, would I go back to appreciating storms?
I’ve read that fear keeps us from experiencing all of life, and I believe that to be true. I’m not saying you need to be able to stand outside in the middle of a hurricane to experience and enjoy life. That would be foolish. But there is a difference between foolish and fearful. Maybe not as much as I think there is. I am reminded of The Fool in Tarot and the willingness to trust, to take a leap of faith.
I am currently reading the book Earning the Rockies: How Geography Shapes America’s Role in the World by Robert Kaplan. It’s the September pick for Now Read This, the NY Times/PBS Book Club. I’m about half way through the book. It’s interesting, but I find myself critical of the way the author (so far) appears to be making excuses for those who voted for the current U.S. president. Mr. Kaplan wrote about the history of the expansion to the west in the continental U.S. while also writing about his travels from the east coast to the west coast. He also wrote about the people who were most likely to vote for the current occupant of the White House, and I am reminded of all the newspaper articles that have come out asking us to try to understand, to sympathize and empathize, with those who would support such a man.
Yes, we do need to have some understanding. Maybe even sympathy and empathy. What I don’t think we (or the media) need to continue to do is excuse away the xenophobia, the misogyny, and the racism that appear to be at the heart of some of what is going on today. Then I wonder, knowing that these things (xenophobia, etc.) arise from fear, how my fears and those fears are similar. I’ve been diving into that — into my fears — trying to work my mind and heart around the commonalities of our experiences and fears. Maybe there are answers in there somewhere. I don’t know. Maybe there are just more questions that lead to more and more questions.
Change, I believe, is a huge part of it. Most of us fear change of some kind. I have to remind myself once in a while that a good storm is often needed to clear the air, to water the plants, to blow away what is no longer needed or healthy. Perhaps hurricanes are Mother Nature’s way of clearing the air, of discharging old energy, of restoring balance. Perhaps other kinds of storms, including those of a political nature, lead to something better, too. That is something else I don’t know (part of a long and growing list of things I don’t know).
On a more practical note, because I want to change the subject, I’ve been out walking today, getting in my 10,000 steps. I’m a long way from the one million steps I’m aiming for, but it’s early in the game. Only day 4 of 100. I am on track, even a little ahead, of where I should be now. 32,024 steps so far as of bedtime last night and I’m almost at 10,000 for today.
Some of the outer bands of rain from Florence will be arriving here soon. They are down in Virginia right now where they do have tropical storm warnings. We’re about 75-80 miles away from where the warnings start. That’s not a great distance, but it’s enough and enough is all I wish for right now. I was just looking at the possible track of the storm over the next few days and it’s interesting to note that Florence, or her remnants, will be circling back around and approaching us from the north rather than the south. She might also be dumping some rain in the Bogs (NE Ohio), where I used to live.
Thanks for joining me today on another ramble. I might go out to the Point for sunset this evening. I don’t expect to see much happening in the sky other than clouds and maybe some rain. It’s a good place to get a glimpse of the bigger picture. The view is not obstructed by trees. You’re welcome to join me. Sunset is scheduled for 7:16 PM. I’ll be there early as usual, rain gear and wellies on.
Be good, be kind, be loving. Just Be. 🙂
A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy: 826) Luck of the draw. 827) Enough wind to keep the insects away during my walk this morning. 828) The crazy bluebirds who are once again raising a ruckus about the car mirrors. They stopped for a while and now they are being territorial again, attacking the bird they see in the mirrors. 829) Enough. Because, as they say, enough is as good as a feast. 830) The weather folks who don’t always get it right but do the best they can with the tools available.