A week ago I was mopping up water while cooking for a gaggle of family friends who came to have an oceanside front row seat to Mother Nature's fury. I felt strangely numb to the spectacle. The fish shed down the street rotated on its axis, the same fisherman's boat sought solace on the hard, dragging its mooring across Rose Bay. The storm surge crested the road and sheets of rain driven by winds of over 100 kph had us spellbound.
We don't usually see these weather events. For some reason they seem to happen in the middle of the night and we normally arise to see shingles missing, the flotsam of debris washed up on the shore and the downed trees.
Sunday was a spectacular day and I rested into the warm sun and gentle breezes. I didn't pay attention to what had happened..I wanted to pretend it hadn't. But the next day the damage and destruction were too obvious to ignore. The whole coast from the tip of Gaff Point to the more protected sand flats of Sand Dollar Beach were beaten, bruised and showing how totally unprepared we are for the reality of climate change.
The power was out for days, and little by little I started to feel the vertigo of trauma. The walking in circles unable to concentrate much less accomplish anything. The wanting to be anywhere but here feeling. The inability to sleep. The need for sweets. I was in freeze mode which is one of the three states of trauma. The other two being fight or flight. There were things to do and I couldn't get them done.
After a few days I admitted that indeed I had been traumatized by the storm. Other people confessed as well. The reality of the damage to not only the landscape but to the animal and bird life has been immense. The skies are for the most part silent. Birds have been killed or blown away. The vegetation looks like it was sprayed with glyphosphate as trees and shrubs are shedding their leaves and packing it in for the year.
But it's the smell of dying creatures in the seagrass on the shores, that most tells the tale.I wonder how resilient nature is here?
This future of which climate change and increasing destructive storms are a regular part of the plot will not only damage the planet, the vegetation and the animal life. It will play havoc on our psyches.
Classes this week have been quiet and slow. Lots of breathing, lots of feeling the weight of our bones and the emphasizing the safety of grounding. It's been good to be teaching even though I feel like a helium balloon at the end of a long ribbon.
I've cut myself and others some slack. I understand why some people are operating at a low capacity. Why they haven't gotten back to me and I am doing everything I can not to over-react.
Be gentle with yourselves. And if you are having a hard time getting things done...its most likely trauma. Read up on the effects of trauma..Peter Levine and Somatic Experiencing is a good place to start.