Here in New England we are accustomed to rapid changes in weather patterns. As the saying goes, if you don’t like the weather, wait 5 minutes. This year was no exception. After the mildest February on record, March came in like a lion, delivering one nor’easter after another for 4 straight weeks.
How do we weather these unexpected, untimely storms? We prepare, we practice patience, we work together, we adjust, we adapt. That reality hit home for me many years ago, in September, 1985, to be precise. Tom and I were to be married on September 28th. However, an uninvited guest arrived one day earlier wreaking havoc on our plans. Her name was Hurricane Gloria. She left most of New England without electricity, closing schools and businesses, roads and bridges. When she departed, the sun shone bright on downed trees and power lines, leaving widespread damage. We adjusted. We adapted. No electricity, no problem. It was a candlelight ceremony. No power? We’ve got that covered, a generator (ok, only until the band blew it out after the first hour). We were married, regardless. It was an unforgettable day, though not for the reasons we expected. Lesson learned: do not expend energy on that which is out of your control, i.e. the weather. Prepare as best you can, be patient, support one another, adjust and adapt.
And so it goes with the seasons of our lives. The unexpected happens. The unthinkable surprises. I’ve applied the “Gloria lesson” countless times over the past 30 plus years. Admittedly, at times I resist. I try to hold on to that which is no longer mine. I try to control outcomes. I cry. But then I remember – I can do only to my best. Prepare and practice patience, support and enlist support, adjust and adapt. There will always be something that is not in my control, be it weather, circumstances, or people. I continue to practice letting go of that piece and the energy it generates.
This week March will quietly slip away, like a lamb. What will April bring? A Spring snowstorm? We New Englanders know that it is entirely possible. Expect the unexpected.