Sunny here – Sandy there

In Reno, Nevada it is 75 degrees, the sun is shinning, the leaves are turning colors and yesterday the San Francisco Giants won the World Series – the world is in perfect order.  Of course, winter will come, it will get cold, the leaves will fall from the trees and the world will look dull while we wait for spring.  But in the colder days to come my house will be warm, I will have plenty of food and if it is too cold and dark to run outside I can go to the gym and run.  I am in control of my life, directing its course or so it seems to me when the sun is shinning.

However, on the opposite side of the country the sun is not shinning.  A major storm is just beginning to make itself felt; and while there are many forecasts and predictions about the coming days, no one knows what the impact of Hurricane Sandy will be on the region, any given location or person in its path.  We do know that for the first time ever a presidential campaign has been postponed – with only a week left before the election – Wall Street will be closed for two days, the first time since 1888 when there was 40 feet of snow in the streets of New York and the New York subway system has been shut down for only the second time in its history.  Some 350, 000 people have been evacuated with more to follow; and there are predictions of wide spread power outages is the wake of the storm.  Already 10,000 flights have been cancelled, casinos in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Delaware and Maryland have closed; in Atlantic City more than the casinos have closed, the city is closed; the streets are closed, the roads leading into the city are closed and there is already several feet of water in the streets.  Other cities too have shut their doors and either evacuated their citizens or told them to remain indoors.  If they are lucky, the 50 million people in the region have stocked up on food, water and found some alternative source of heat; if they have not prepared the next couple of days will be very difficult.

All of that and much more  has happened and this is before the storm really hits.  As confident, secure and in control as I feel in my little autumn bubble in Reno – I know that I would feel the exact opposite were I in Atlantic City, Boston or New York City tonight.  I would be frightened and insecure; I would feel powerless against the awe-inspiring power of nature.   The storm is tangible proof that our very existence hangs on a very thin thread – with all of our advanced culture, science and technology we are all powerless in the face of such a storm.  I will go to bed tonight very thankful that my world is safe and very aware that it is not because of anything I have done or could do, but because I am not in the path of a storm.  To be in New York tonight would be as unnerving as being in Damascus.  I wish the citizens of both (and any other place in crises) good luck in these trying times.


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October 2012
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