But here I am anyway
The current hurricane, aka tropical storm, is known simply as Eta, the seventh letter of the Greek alphabet. But ETA is also an abbreviation for Estimated Time of Arrival.
The weather forecasters certainly have had difficulty determining Eta’s ETA — and its PP, too (Probable Path).
In my current Florida location, we initially expected the storm on Sunday. Then Monday. Then reports indicated the storm had slowed and seemed to turn westward. The “cone of probability” took aim at the Florida Panhandle, Alabama, and, luckless Louisiana, which has had more than its fair share of storms this year.
Yesterday morning, we enjoyed a perfectly sunny and breezy day, expecting it might be our last such one as Eta poked along the Gulf of Mexico the rest of the week. Then weather reports showed we could expect more of the same today.
A holiday from work and a perfect day for the beach too. Excellent!
Except during the night, Eta changed course — and speed — and is making a beeline for us. Though it isn’t supposed to make landfall until tomorrow, already the waves are rushing the beach and the rain is slapping at my windows. The wind is doing a number on my neighbor’s wind chimes.
So much for walking with my niece and her youngest child this morning or lunching with my mother-in-love. Hurricane Eta is messing with the time I intended to have at the beach.
I admit a part of me is excited. My husband and I love walking during storms, getting a taste of the wind’s fury and the soaking rains. The waves already have attracted a number of surfers, who have congregated just north of us. Yesterday, the Gulf of Mexico was a virtual lake. Today the waves look like those the Pacific Ocean smashes against California beaches. (Well, in comparison to yesterday, anyway.)
A part of me is nervous about getting too big a taste of the wind’s fury and the soaking rains, the water creeping too close to our building and our car, and, as always, the thought of being unable to make coffee due to a power outage. (Priorities!)
And the Goldilocks part of me (which largely influences the whole of me) is thankful for the storm, as it might save me from swimming in the less-than-temperate waters of the Gulf of Mexico. (I might have told my dear husband that if the sun was hot enough I might go in further than my ankles today.)
Would God send a hurricane simply to save me from that promise? (Steve doesn’t think I’m saved from the cold water. He has viewed the radar, sees a break in the weather about noontime, and mistakenly thinks it an opportunity for the swim. Help!)
This I know, God is mightier than the storm. I love these verses from Psalm 93 from The Message version:
1-2 God is King, robed and ruling,
God is robed and surging with strength.
And yes, the world is firm, immovable,
Your throne ever firm—you’re Eternal!
3-4 Sea storms are up, God,
Sea storms wild and roaring,
Sea storms with thunderous breakers.
Stronger than wild sea storms,
Mightier than sea-storm breakers,
Mighty God rules from High Heaven.
5 What you say goes—it always has.Psalm 93, MSG
“Beauty” and “Holy” mark your palace rule,
God, to the very end of time.
So while the storm rages, the Goldilocks part of me breathes a sigh of thankfulness (no cold swim for me today!). The excited part of me admires the power of God’s creation on display. And the nervous part of me calms. A bit.
The storm surge alert that lit up my phone a few minutes ago is concerning. My mother-in-love’s call to cancel our lunch because of flooding and possible tornadoes also makes me wary.
I walked down to the beach in raincoat to shoot the photo of the surf (above). My umbrella threatened to turn inside out and acted like a sail, pulling my body down the beach. I closed it, shot a quick photo in the rain, and returned to my condo.
Since then I’ve received a number of alerts of increasing urgency warning of a tornado sighted not far from here. The one windowless bedroom, which I’d originally disdained as a design flaw in an otherwise lovely condo, is serving as a place of refuge for me. I’ve located a couple of candles and will brew and refrigerate coffee, to be prepared for cold coffee in the morning, should the power fail. (Again, priorities!)
But, ultimately, the storm is in God’s hands. As am I.
No matter Eta’s ETA or projected path.
(My husband? He’s still threatening an afternoon swim.)