We have often spoken about how we cannot stop the events happening around us, but we can decide how we handle them when they arise.
Last Friday, I decided to surprise Deric for his birthday and flew to Irvine. We flew kites (attempted without much wind), played frisbee, learned a dinosaur computer game, and went out on the town for dinner! All the while, behind the scenes, nature was setting up... kind of like interlacing its fingers, and stretching its arms before it, saying, "Ahhhh, here we go." The clouds winked, nodded, and with a rye smile upon their faces, rain began, slowly at first, one drop at a time, teasing the already saturated earth. And then they let loose.
I rescheduled my flight from late Sunday night to first thing Monday morning so we could make the only remaining dinner reservation available. The airline representative found a flight leaving at 6:30 am from SNA (Santa Ana / John Wayne Airport). "Perfect," I said. "Thank you." "No problem." She replied, "Is there anything else I can help you with?" "Nope," I said and returned to my room to get ready.
At dinner, the skies above Irvine were clear, while in Vermont, the earth was under siege. Water, and lots of it, overtook the hills, filled the rivers, and began its destruction. Joining in the game around the castle, the wind picked up more than just the air. The wind decided to help the renovation move along and got rid of windows and siding on the parts that were not made of stone. The water laughed along the 1.5-mile-long winding mountainside driveway and washed the whole thing away.
In the morning, while the rains continued in Vermont, the town was now part of a raging river, and the bridges and the rail tracks were twisting beneath the water; I went to the airport. At the airport, I could not get to my plane. This is because my flight was unintentionally scheduled for SAN (San Diego), not SNA (Irvine).
By the time the flights were corrected and I got back to Hartford, CT, to get my car the following morning, the rain had stopped, and the water had begun receding. Knowing my town was declared a federal disaster area, I went to a store on the way back to pick up drinking water in case people needed it.
I found a somewhat drivable path to the small general store in my town, skirting sections of washed-away roads. After unloading the water, I parked my car there and got a precarious ride to my driveway which we found unpassable even for the off-road 4-wheeler we were on.
Giving a wave to the driver, I set out. Bouldering home.
As I write this from my formerly restored home, which is now missing a few windows, and swaths of siding, it reminds me again that we don't get to choose the events in our lives. We find ourselves starting over and over again from new perspectives. Sometimes that means pulling our bootstraps up and getting to work, even when we are tired.