Firebirdlifecoach's Blog

Pursuing a Passionate Life

Anticipation… October 29, 2012

It’s 9:00 am, Monday morning, October 29, 2012 – and like thousands of other folks in the Northeast – I am “Waiting on Sandy”. They are predicting a monster of a storm this time around, due not only to the initial size of the primary storm but the fact that it will collide with two other significant systems to create a truly unique meteorological event. “Frankenstorm” as it has been nicknamed, is predicted to terrorize the East Coast – defying previous models and confounding the experts.  My natural lack of patience, (not one of my strongest virtues) leaves me (and I am sure many others) struggling with a wait that feels particularly long. With modern-day weather forecasting as it is these days, meteorologists are able to track and predict storms like this one – way earlier then they used to be, and overall I guess that’s good news. Obviously, it gives you plenty of time to make necessary preparations and all, but it also creates this surreal anticipation that feels like it goes on forever. Almost makes you want the storm to hit sooner – just to get it over with already!

The predictions for this storm started coming in relatively early last week, or at least that’s when they first caught my attention. By Friday, they were pretty clear, and relatively confident that this storm which was enormous in size was going to move up the coast and then turn west, into land at some point. Like most people, New Englanders view weather-forecasters with a healthy dose of skepticism. We have been duped, too many times. Predictions of massive snow storms produce a paltry few inches of the white stuff, etc. So like lots of folks, we kind of half believe it;  buy some bread, maybe some water and batteries, but many wait til the last-minute to actually batten down the hatches all the while keeping an eye of the forecasts, just in case we need to escalate the preparations. It definitely, reminds you of “the boy who cried wolf”, and you know in terms of basic survival it’s better to react to the threat that’s not there – then to fail to react to a threat that is. Fortunately, for us we are wired this way – it’s called the Negativity Bias – and it makes sense. Here’s an article by Rick Hanson, exploring just that – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rick-hanson-phd/be-mindful-not-intimidate_b_753646.html.

But back to the storm… So at first it feels like, “Is this all really going to happen?” For instance, Saturday was a lovely, quiet, mild Fall day. Sunday, was gray and drizzly – it seemed like any other slightly wet day for this time of year. And today, well, there is some rain, though still pretty light, the wind is blowing, but not that hard, and best of all we still have power! So yes, things are changing, but it is just hard to really grasp how far things may possibly deteriorate in the next 48 hours or so. Typically, I am someone who is pretty good at visualizing, but this still has this odd feeling of detachment to it. It is the quintessential moment of waiting for the other shoe to drop. The calm before the storm. And I just can’t help but think about another big event that will take place next week which has had days, weeks, and months of predictions and anticipation building around it.

A week from tomorrow is election day, and as always it has been a long time in coming. Something big is going to happen and depending on where you stand the outcome could be a catastrophe or a blessing. (I can’t even wrap my brain around the concept that some people are still undecided – given the disparity between the candidates – and the fact that for me there is only one possible choice, period.) I think a lot of folks feel that way on both sides – they are tired of the ads, the polls and the forecasts, they have done their preparations and at this point just want to get it over with already. And lets hope that after that “storm” is passed – we will be warmed by neighbors pulling together as they often do after natural disasters – for the greater good of all, with the recognition that each of us want what is best for ourselves, for our loved ones and for our communities. It’s about pulling together and not pulling apart. Here’s hoping that the results will give us a head’s start in that direction.

Peace – Be safe out there.

 

Go ahead, let it snow. January 21, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — firebirdlifecoach @ 10:51 am
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It’s late January here in New England and apparently the universe has woken to the fact that in the wintertime around here there usually is this white stuff that falls out of the sky, it’s called snow. Not that it is a momentous storm or anything mind you but it is coming down, and by the time it stops we should have 4-6 inches of fluffiness on the ground. In fact, this is the fourth snow fall of the week and even though the other three were only an inch or two, each one required me to clear our heavily shaded driveway and sidewalk or else risk the ice rink that is sure to form. But that’s okay, like any good New Englander – I have the tools necessary for the job: the big, heavy “pushing” shovel, the curved, lifting shovel, the push and regular brooms for the porch and of course my new personal favorite – the snowblower. (Purchased last year before the deluge, and paid for over six months before the store credit card started accruing interest, this bad boy has become my new best friend.  And though I am tempted here to go on and on about how my snowblower paid for itself multiple times with last year’s record-setting snow totals, or how sometimes it is reluctant start yet so far always manages to come around to seeing things my way – I will restrain myself.)

Because what I really just wanted to mention briefly today is that there is a part of me that still loves the snow! Sure as the years go on, and my back gets weaker there have been many a time when I have cursed the winter and all the snow that comes along with it, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like it altogether. There is no denying that a fresh blanket of the white stuff can be extraordinarily beautiful on the leaf bare trees, house roofs and brown grass. The sparkle of fresh snow in the moonlight is magical. And when the storm first passes and the sky re-emerges – it seems bluer and more clear than on any other day when the ground is not covered by a fresh coating of snow. But one of the things I like the most is the silence. That absolute stillness in the air when the snow is coming down is perfection!

So though I may be singing a different tune as the next few weeks go by and the slush and ice and piles of dirt encrusted snow likely will accumulate, I just wanted to acknowledge this little moment in time when I am still enamoured of waking to a snowy, snowing morning. It makes me think of my sister, and how we used to like to take a walk down to the park when we were young as the snow fell and the quiet surrounded us. There was a time when winter was my favorite season – and though more recently I have come to truly hate being cold – apparently I have not lost my love and appreciation for the magical healing serenity of a new blanket of snow. Happy shoveling!

 

The Weight of the Wait February 26, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — firebirdlifecoach @ 7:57 pm
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I think living in New England (and other areas of the planet that experience “traditional winter weather”) requires a certain heartiness that folks in warmer climates don’t require. However it is always interesting (particularly with the climate changes of recent years). There’s an expression that pretty much sums it up – “If you don’t like the weather in New England, just wait five minutes.” And it’s true – today started off sunny and mild though there had been a dusting of snow overnight and a forecast for torrential rains all day. Throughout the day, it alternately was cold with snow squalls, rainy, windy and/or quiet. Every time you looked out the window there was something else going on – I was waiting for it to rain actual cats and dogs, ‘cause it would have seemed like just the right day for it. Our promise for the weekend – more unpredictable precipitation – rain, snow flurries and even some accumulations in some areas – what could be better than that? Well, actually a little sunshine and warming temperatures would be nice.

When the winter months reach their last legs, the weather is on everyone’s mind. I would bet that at least 90% of people who interacted with another human being in New England today talked about the weather at least once. “Talking about the weather” – the cliché icebreaker is more than just idle chatter in my belief. Around these parts I think that it is a way for people to bond together against something that is greater than they are. (That, and it provides an excellent opportunity for one-up’s-man ship – “You think you have it bad, we got 10 inches of heavy, wet snow last night in my town  – my back was breaking!”) After all, no one I know can change it and everyone is affected by it. At this time of the year and for the next month and a half or so as spring teases us with the promise of warmer days and sunny skies – there is a combined sense of impatience, resolve and hopefulness. We’re almost there… just a few more weeks… a few more snow storms and we will be rewarded.

When you think about the bonding we do over the trials of untamable Mother Nature – you know you are participating in a ritual that has been handed-down from one generation to the next in many parts of the world. It is the ultimate realization of the smallness of our presence in the eternal evolution of the planet and of our interconnected experience. You may feel all alone looking down the long snow-covered driveway, shovel in hand pondering the work ahead of you, but you are not, and later you will get the opportunity to swap stories with your co-workers and family. We are a hearty and hopeful lot – bound together by some frozen water crystals and the promise of daffodils.