16 Sep PRE-HURRICANE MIAMI BEACH REFLECTIONS
“It’s not the memories inside my head that drive me crazy. It’s the new memories without you that push me over the edge.” – Sandra Homer
As I write this message, I’m standing in the waiting area of the Mexico City airport. How did I get here? What was the objective? Well, there’s a video post to share with you more on that.
This post is our reason for leaving, what happens when nature’s force is much greater than our own control (more often, it is, than not), and the emotional ties to our homes and nature.
Miami Beach has been for the past three years, and will continue to be for an undetermined amount of time, a home base for me and my now husband. A former New Englander, I have bared many winter storms, strong winds, and the occasional endless rains. However, now living in Miami, the climate is a completely different personality to adjust and get used to.
After three years of living in Miami, we had our first real hurricane scare. Hurricane Irma, determined to be one of the largest hurricanes to hit in the Atlantic, and by far one of the most destructive, was named a Category 5 early on, with little to nothing stopping her in her stormy path.
Keeping a close eye on her, and watching more social media and CNN online news updates more than I ever can recall, Javier and I decided early on that if we had an opportunity to book it out of Miami, we take it!
Ten hours later and one job offer in Mexico City, and we were sold. Booked flight, feeling more at ease, we were grateful to have ourselves secured (or, so we thought. Did you watch the video yet?), and started preparing our schedules and home for departure.
Flights were booked for early Friday morning on Tuesday, but the days before our departure (particularly Wednesday and Thursday when the mandatory evacuations had started for all of Miami Beach) we started to feel the energy a bit strange in a city we often feel at ease in.
Beaches were completely cleared, businesses boarded up, barricades posted, and people fleeing. We live in the heart of the beach, where tourists and locals flood the streets, especially this time of year. So to experience the opposite is something I can describe no better than as a ghost-town.
As the time grew closer for us to leave, the emotional pain of what would could potentially be leaving behind started to sink in. Would we see this beach again? Where would the rocks we have so many memories sitting and filming on be relocated to? Our current home, our shared apartment complex, how would the roof and walls hold up to the terror that a hurricane can bring? The Miami Beach that I moved from Boston to, would it still be the same?
The day of, Thursday, we didn’t do our usual run on the boardwalk. Instead, we walked, and walked, and walked, to take in what we may have to, unfortunately, say our goodbyes to. Along the way, we took many photos, and looking back on these pics, you can tell in our eyes and what we filmed that we instinctively knew it may be the last time we ever see this beach, our home, and our community, like we know it to be, again.
What are the reflections and takeaways?
• What kind of harm are we doing to our Earth to create three Hurricanes and one Earthquake all within the same week and same continent of the world? More importantly, how can we stop, and ideally, reverse, some of those changes?
• If you, like myself, were packing to evacuate, taking only our most beloved items with us, how much are we leaving behind that we really don’t need? In a materialistic society, what can we reduce, minimize, or do without to help someone else more in need?
• What can we create more time for to enjoy in the land that we love and call home? What are we missing out on busying our selves with “things” that must get done?
• What can we be grateful for in the post-traumatic scare of a hurricane, and any lessons we can takeaway to prepare our selves better for anything similar in the future?
My love to Miami, the community, the governing elect who intelligently (in my opinion) required us to evacuate for our safest outcome, and to the first-responders, paramedics, line of defense, and attendees to be there, ready, and courageous to help and support our community for any detrimental needs.
Pride is a word that comes to mind, when I think of Miami now. The support, connection and love that we witnessed rising via friends, family and social media was heart-warming. May that continue long past Irma’s destruction and clean-up efforts, for a city that I am grateful to now return to, and call home.
What I’m happy to now share, is that I’m awaiting my return flight back home to Miami, and with the graces of Mother Nature, Miami was saved of Irma’s worst potential. From what we have read and heard from friends and social news, much of Miami has returned to its regular schedule. Many are still without power, unfortunately, and it’s not to say there isn’t clean-up in the neighborhoods to do. But, for the most part, we all are very aware of how lucky and fortunate we were this time around.