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Mother Nature Unleashed…

It’s tornado season once again in the Midwest and show time has begun! Just today, we had a thunderstorm with half inch chunks of hail pounding down from the dark skies. Have you ever been in the pathway when Mother Nature unleashes her powerful forces?

I lived through “THE QUAKE of ’89” in the San Francisco metro area, which was a 6.2 magnitude. I vividly remember the scenes of Candlestick Park, host of the World Series, having the game stopped and the baseball diamond flooded with people seeking safety, the top level of the Bay Bridge collapsing onto the lower, the Marina District houses shaken off their foundations – so much damage and chaos in less than a minute will be etched in my memory forever.

It was late in the day, I was in my third floor condo when the entire building began to shake and sway. Fifteen seconds seemed to last a long time. Trust me; such an experience definitely cleared your thoughts! For me, the next few weeks were equally as intense because you wondered about after-shocks and whether the buildings were secure or if there was unseen damage that could cause the building to collapse. High-rise buildings lost their appeal to me after that experience.

The thing about earthquakes is there’s no pre-planning. They just hit and bam, you deal with it. There is good and bad to that scenario. For many, the stress of hearing about a weather storm warning such as a hurricane, tsunami, tornado, etc.. causes anxiety. Many times the media hype is greater than the storm but then again, sometimes the prediction is right on track. Remember Katrina? Many people ignored the warnings and lost their lives in the process.

A couple weeks ago, Kansas experienced a day in which we had three intense storms within six hours. Each one was alarming and Mother Nature was definitely “blowing off some steam”! Whew! Dark skies replaced the sunlight, loud thunder, sharp lightening, flash flooding and high winds. It was a day you just wanted to stay inside and away from the windows and pray for your safety!

The last storm of the day began around 11:30 p.m. I was sitting in my office with the window open working at my computer. Once again, the rains came down with a mighty force, the wind started to howl and an eeriness filled the air. Something was different about this. In my mind I was thinking, “something is not right, hmm, but the tornado warning sirens aren’t going off so it must be ok, right? Right?” About three seconds later the storm unleashed all its fury and I heard tree branches crashing onto and breaking the swing in my back yard, my patio furniture being tossed around and the strong gust of wind sent the papers flying off my desk.

I ran to my daughter’s room located next to my office and got on the bed with her like a mother bear would do to protect her cub. She was asleep and completely unaware of the storm and the danger it imposed. I figured, if it was our time, we’d be together. For the next several seconds as I laid there waiting for the storm to subside, I felt isolated but also in awe of the power of Mother Nature.

In less than a minute the storm had passed. I walked to my patio and saw tree branches all over the back yard, my wooden swing mangled where it once stood, furniture tossed about, patio cushions, from who knows where, in my yard. When a tornado touches down, it clears a pathway. We were blessed that we experienced only minor damage. The news never reported a tornado but I firmly believe there were tornado-like winds and conditions that visited our area that night.

The next morning I saw that the neighbor directly across the street from me had suffered much greater damage from the storm. Her fully matured tree had three branches ripped and twisted from its trunk and thrown onto her RV! The limbs were not just broken off the tree; they had been thrown through the air like toothpicks! See for yourself in the photo below:

In life we can expect to have storms. We all will face physical, emotional, financial and psychological challenges. Some we will have no control over but many we do.

How well prepared are you for the storms of life? Failing to prepare is an act of preparing to fail. Whenever you’ve had to give a presentation, take a test/exam, go for an interview, buy a car or home or compete in an event did you prepare or just show up and hope for the best? Why, with health being our biggest asset, do we ignore our body’s signs (symptoms) and take it forgranted until a storm hits? Why do we think “the storm” (disease) won’t happen to us? An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

Did you know that 50% of the people die from the first symptom of heart disease? A fatal stroke, with no sirens going off, will claim the lives of thousands each year. And for those who survive, many will face life-changing disabilities or health complications. The cost is much more than the financial burden; there will also be enormous emotional and physical costs involved. We can’t predict the future; however, we can plot and prepare a pathway to avoid many crisis situations.

Let’s do Wellness together…for the Health of it!

Until next month…TCOY


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