In 1988 hurricane Gilbert hit Jamaica with devastating consequences. It was estimated that 45 people died in that storm. I had visited Jamaica the year before the storm and the year after to see my father. The year before the storm on my visit; I noted that Jamaica smelled different. One of the delights I looked forward to upon leaving the plane was the grand smell of pimento, coffee and ginger, blending together to make that distinctive Jamaican smell that told me I was home. That pervading aroma of spices was missing in 1987. Instead there was a great wafting of refuge and a rotting stench I had not experienced before. In the fall of 1988 the grand aroma was back. It warmed not only my sense of smell, but put a smile on my face. It reminded of ‘Jamaica Land We Love’
This small tale is told to mark the importance of storms. Storms are psychic forces that cleanse the land and renew the spirits of all those who are in their wake. When we are angry and vengeful these emotions produce a churning within the atmosphere that eventually express as storms or violent weather. Our psychic garbage harms the earth. The scaring has to be healed somehow. The results are storms of one form or another. One of the gifts from these storms, of which there are many, is to clear the air and allow us to start over. In other words storms grant to humanity the gift of forgiveness. Because we ‘suffer’ when a storm hits, we come together to help one another and regroup.
The recent storm which raced up the eastern portion of the United States cleared out much of the hateful pollution from the recent battles in the political arena. There was a fog over that portion of the country as the vengeful words and thoughts were centered mostly in that region. The storm has granted us a new grace. Let us start over with compassion and love for ourselves, our family, our neighbors and our country.
It is not too late.