A friend of my daughter’s just posted on Facebook about something that I’ve been saying since yesterday as well.
*scrape* *scrape* “Sorry for the noise, dragging my soapbox out.”
For many of us in New England, Hurricane Irene did not live up to her billing. That isn’t to say that there was no damage or that there aren’t many folks who are still being inconvenienced by power outages. There was damage and many are still in the dark. But Irene had been billed as the “storm of the century” and hyped by every media outlet and government agency as nature’s version of Armageddon. It didn’t turn out to be that way for most in the area where I live.
In my yard, for example, there were some very small branches that fell from the trees, leaves and a little bit of water in the basement. We went for a drive yesterday afternoon and did not see much worse. Yes, there were trees broken and fallen here and there. Only one or two had fallen on or even close to a house. Most of the fallen trees we saw either partially blocked a road, fell on power lines (hence the outages) or simply fell harmlessly in a yard or field. Clean up work to be sure, but not significant damage.
If you were one of the few people who had a tree fall on your house, you did indeed suffer a catastrophe. However, if you are out there just raking up leaves, you are in the majority and lucky. We did not see roofs, shingles or siding blown off houses; we did not see signs blown down; we did not see shattered windows.
The problem is that people are complaining that it wasn’t “bad enough.” After all, they went out and bought water and bread so they wouldn’t starve for a few days. They were glued to their TV sets (til the power went out) watching for news of the devastation being wrought by the storm. Perhaps some were realizing how tied to electronics they are when the power was no longer available.
I think folks should be grateful instead of complaining. They should be acknowledging that we “dodged a bullet” on this one. It was a HUGE storm! We were lucky that it didn’t cause more damage here. We were fortunate that the storm reduced in fury before it hit much of New England. Mother Nature is notoriously fickle and change is one of her basic character traits. She is also a bit of a trickster! She loves to change a few small things to see how we respond (like taking some steam out of a hurricane or putting a tornado in an area which typically doesn’t have them). Mother Nature revels in being unpredictable. Just when we think we have her figured out with our knowledge and our technology, she throws us a curve ball to test us.
She isn’t always kind with the tests – there are plenty of times when things are worse than we had expected. This time, in our neck of the woods, we got lucky and things were not as bad as expected.
So why are people complaining?!
Why are people blaming the weather folks for Mother Nature’s vagaries? Why are folks unhappy that their homes were not demolished? Why are they sad and whining about the fact that they prepared “for nothing?”
It wasn’t nothingeverywhere! There were places where the predictions were spot-on. There are places where people have been flooded out of their homes, where trees fell in the wrong places and where the winds tore up homes.
Personally, I think our society is in a sad state when people have so lost touch with Mother Nature that they expect to be able to perfectly know, predict and control her. In the profound words of an old acquaintance, “