Sunday, October 28, 2012

State of Emergency

It’s a scary sign, isn’t it? But there it was, above us on the New Jersey Turnpike, after dropping my sister at the airport (fortunately, she made it home to North Carolina safe & sound). Now, in the calm before the storm, we await whatever may happen. We have no control. Floods, winds, snow, rain, ice, volcanoes, tsunamis…they’re not up to us!
            How we react to them, however, is under our control. Some of my friends have been out collecting batteries and water, while others have taken a more relaxed approach (i.e. “That’s all hype. I’m not cancelling my appointment; it’s sure to blow over!”) I briefly considered running out for a bag of decaf, but then decided I would just get along with what I have.
            It is, indeed, easy to work one’s self up into a “state” when emergencies are imminent. We can glue our eyes to the TV, heeding the ominous warnings of governors, mayors and newscasters. We can imagine the worst (think Katrina!) and prepare as best we can for every type of tragedy.
            Or…we can travel the road advised by my oft-quoted (here, anyway!) first yoga teacher, who once told me (when I had worked myself into a panic over some impending disaster I had created in my own mind that clearly never came to pass), “Imagine the worst that can happen. Then, imagine the best. Then, go in your thoughts to the middle, which is the likely scenario.”     
            That is the path that I choose today. I’m not going to join the doomsayers who are predicting that the East Coast will be 8 feet under by tomorrow evening. Nor am I planning a picnic in the park. Instead, I'm going to batten down the hatches, fill some water jugs, make some soup, and decide which book to read or what meditation to do if the power goes out. 
            And although I don’t take Mother Nature’s own power lightly--nor do I underestimate the grim possibilities that can result in a storm--I also see the wielding of the Universe’s giant weather sword as a reminder that once in a while we really have no choice but to go with the flow. 

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