A few days ago I commented to my friend that I’ve never experienced a hurricane, and wondered what it must be like. It was not a request to the universe just a passing comment.
Well, it seems like I will soon get a chance to know what it feels like to be in a hurricane. It’s been kind of weird listening to the news about the effects of Hurricane Matthew across some of the other Caribbean islands while life remains so tranquil and beautiful here.
The only evidence that all is not well is the restlessness in the sea. We swim every morning, and for the last few days there’s been a lot more movement in the water, more buoyant, more insistent as it pounds the rocks. The sand, used to being caressed, must feel like it’s being slapped by an angry lover.
The regular updates on the news and internet tell of the increasing intensity of a storm sitting 450 miles off shore with its eye fixed firmly on us. I now understand the difference between a tropical storm and a hurricane.
When the storm reaches hurricane status the government holds emergency meetings to work out our national response. Warnings are issues and those who make their living from the sea all called in first. Hurricane waves are merciless, takes no prisoners.
The thing is, while all this preparation is going on the sun shines brightly, the breeze is soft and soothing and the few raindrops that fall are welcomed for their cooling effect.
Ironically, I’m travelling to Kingston tomorrow, a trip planned prior the hurricane alert. Kingston is likely to experience the worst of the hurricane. ‘Why go?’ a friend asked.
Two reasons. The first is that I will be with my family and if I have to experience this, where better to be? Secondly, hurricanes are capricious and can change their minds and their direction without warning. Can decide to go and bother someone else, or just go out to see and burn themselves out.
June to September is officially hurricane season. I was born in hurricane season. Someone asked if that’s why I was capricious and volatile. Maybe a younger me would have demonstrated those qualities, but not anymore.
Like the hurricane, I have the right to change my mind without having to explain it to anyone.