As this year’s hurricane season comes to an end, I am so happy it’s finally over. Having decided back in April to wait the season out, putting on hold any work that needed to be done. After being so close to being back on our floating home it was hard to except we were going to have to wait a little longer. It felt like the longest season ever! But now that I look back, it was the best decision we could have made to hold tight. Not rushing into things or going against the current has really kept us staying afloat through the years…
One hurricane after the other we watched the season closely from afar. Bolted into the ground on land in a boat yard squeezed in next to other vessels our dream home awaited. Grinding our teeth and biting our nails as we witnessed our sailboat in the path of two major hurricanes. Then here comes Hurricane Irma, a straight path right though the sunshine state towards us AND our boat! Still living on the RV I cant tell you how lucky and yet so vulnerable I felt at that moment in time. Lucky, we could leave in the RV and get out without having to pack, awesome. But vulnerable and so sad there was nothing more we could do for our sailboat. We had to leave our dream behind when we were so close to sailing again.
We headed out of the state in the RV. Which now seems like one of those bad dreams you don’t forget, a movie where the suspense is high and the expectations are low. Leaving Florida with the hope of keeping our family safe, we honestly didn’t think we would have a boat to come back to. Hearing about the destruction it was causing through the Caribbean islands, it was destroying everything in its path. Humble souls and unforgettable islands we had sailed to years prior, our hearts were heavy for those who lives were changing with each passing hour. Getting out of the state at the time was our priority and experiencing this from land was like an apocalypse. News on TV, everything around us was not good. Gas was scarce, water sources and food were diminishing at a rapid rate. Vandalism was starting to occur. Houses and buildings were boarded up. We took the chance with what we had aboard the RV and went north into the unknown. Battling traffic, nearly running out of gas to get out of the state. That damn hurricane chased us until the last day. We narrowly escaped the wrath and with what little we have, unscathed. Getting kicked out by the storm, then getting news our boat sustained no visible damage. We considered ourselves very very lucky.
After the storm passed life was slow before but now we were taking it extra slow…. extra cautious. We still had some time before the hurricane season was over before we were in the clear. So instead of rushing back to the boat and starting the process of getting her back in the water, we were going to wait till the season completely ended. Taking it easy. Focusing on our family, we slowly made our way back like turtles. Going through each town taking in all the good it seems as though most things are back to normal now. The hustle and bustle of the daily work grind, people busy on their phones. I wouldn’t say Florida has fully recovered but the vibe of this beautiful state still remains. Smiles, people having a good time, that tropical smell in the air. A positive flow of good in the right direction is so nice to be around. It’s been months now since the big storm but I still can’t bring myself to forget the impact it caused…
So many lives have been changed. Landscapes. What people call home for some will never be the same. My heart goes out to those still recovering. I have found with each bad occurrence, the good – will -prevail. Change is inevitable. In our own way we are all survivors.
Wandering around Florida, we came across this beautiful old tree. It has withstood storms, hurricanes, effects to our planet, and yet through it all still stands strong. While another tree lays in the background, this is what we have seen more often on our journey back into Florida. A bit of evidence how powerful mother nature is. Seeing the remaining big old trees stand strong I am reminded how lucky we are to be alive. We go though our day taking the things around us for granted. As I walked up to this tree all I wanted to do was give it some love. Quickly after, my son did the same. He might not understand this world yet, or the reason why some trees lay on the ground around us but I do think the love for nature is in his roots. A deep yearning to understand and explore this beautiful world is in his blood.
In the wake of Hurricane Irma with plans to be back on our sailboat soon… with every place we visit I want to show him all the good, but I also want him to know things are not always picture perfect. Despite all the terrible things in this world I do believe there is more good than bad and I hope the good on this planet is what our growing son will seek. I hope we all find our path. Embrace change. Respect nature. Appreciate the present moment and what is around you now. Try not to fear what the future holds.
Like a tree, even if the world around wants to push you down… be the one still standing strong.