Resilience

On Saturday, the lovely storm that we had in the North East brought hurricane force winds, ripped trees from their roots and knocked power lines over. There were electrical fires everywhere, and firefighters were helpless to address them, while watching them flame in the rain. Our house lost power, along with hundreds of thousands of others in the area, and today, five days later, we are still without power, or heat, or hot water because in addition to everything else, our basement flooded and damaged the water heater. I’m not even going to mention all the things we had in the basement that are now ruined: baby albums, computer equipment, books. … Needless to say it has been a stressful few days, but I feel very fortunate that my kids have been good sports about it all, and have not once asked to watch tv, and that despite all the damage, we are still safe and that’s the most important thing.

It brought up a discussion with a friend yesterday and my husband this morning about resilience. As people from the Caribbean, we’ve had to deal with power outages and storms in our lives, so we know how to hunker down and make do. Anyone from a non-first world country does because everything hasn’t always been so convenient. So the idea of running to a hotel didn’t really occur to us, and a lot of people that we know, but we do know that there were many who did run to hotels. Is it really that bad? Sure, it’s inconvenient and stressful, but I think we’ve taught the kids that when the going gets tough, the tough get resourceful.

As politicians debate the existence of climate change (scientists aren’t debating it, because they all know it’s happening… hello… hurricane force winds on the North East coast in March?) we as a global community face having to make really difficult decisions about how we live our lives and what we’re able to live with and without. It doesn’t necessarily have to be so difficult. And I think that’s why everyone’s so afraid to face the facts and deal with reality. It does however require a sense of resourcefulness and a little sense of adventure in embarking on a new way of living.

It’s tough, but we’re resilient.

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