Powerless. I felt powerless when I saw the satellites images of the massive storm approaching. It had suddenly veered westward and was aimed directly at the coast of New Jersey. There was fear on the faces of the Weather-Channel people and awe in their voices. Outside, the skies turned cloudy and tree branches began to dance in the gathering breeze. I waited in full-tilt anticipation as hours passed and the storm drew closer. The rain, misty and light at first, grew more persistent. It sounded like a snare drum on the roof: rata-tat-tat. The roar of wind steadily increased and was punctuated with great crescendos in every gust. As nightfall approached, I watched as rain and wind combined in horizontal sheets, bending big trees in my yard like dry grass in a meadow.
The weather maps confirmed impact as the storm made landfall right over my house in Little Egg Harbor. All light faded from the sky just as the electricity went out and I sat in complete darkness. I could no longer see the storm but I could hear it and feel it as the changing pressure made my head ache. I lit candles to reassure myself - and the cats - that we were still safe. But the sound of the storm was so loud I had to raise my voice just to speak a word of comfort, which wasn’t comforting at all. The storm raged for hours.
Then all at once, silence. The wind ceased and the rain stopped except for the steady drip, drip, drip from the gutters. I went outside and saw stars overhead. In all directions the eye-wall of the hurricane churned, separating me from the power of the storm as it raged around me. I was alone and still, breathless from what had already passed, fearful of what was still to come. And then there in the eye of the hurricane, I thought I heard a still, small voice. “I am here,” it said. “Even in the midst of the storm.”
As a force of nature, power is brutal and unrefined — like a snorting, quivering stallion. Its force is indiscriminate and unremitting. But power is also a force that wells up from within. It is the voice of inner calm that tells us we are not alone, even in the storms of life.
The eye passed and the storm resumed its raging. And I fell asleep in the comfort and warmth of my bed, uncertain as to what the next day would bring, but confident that I could face it.