After two months without, we have electricity
Hey there, friends.
On September 20, Hurricane Maria came roaring through like a lion.
Here's something I wrote in the waiting time, before the hurricane hit Puerto Rico:
I'm less nervous about the wind/rain of the hurricane and more nervous about living without power and water for potentially weeks. My brain wants to plan plan plan and prep, but there's only so much you can predict and even less you can actually do.
And we've been learning to live one day, one moment at a time. Every day we have what we need. Not always what we want or expect, but all that we need. Every day.
Far beyond coincidence.
I won't close off. It's time to be open.
Energy, power: it coalesces and has so much force and even though we think of these events as disasters—and of course in many ways they are, tragic, destructive—they're just energy. And what I'm not doing is fighting, closing off, resisting.
Energy is movement and can lead to growth, opens the path for growth, clears the way for growth.
And we are all growing or we are hiding, resisting.
No closing off, no pushing back, no pushing away.
Being open, living in this moment, flowing with this energy, and trusting we'll be okay.
And we are okay.
I don't want to make light of María and how it's affected Puerto Rico. There were many deaths, more than have been reported in the official count. Many people lost their homes and all their possessions. Many more lost their jobs, their means of making a living. Over 100,000 left the island to figure out how to live elsewhere. And the help coming in from the U.S. has been minimal.
In the midst of all the tragedy, a community emerges and people grow, change, adapt, and help each other in unpredictable and beautiful ways. (You can read my post-hurricane updates here.)
On November 10, our water came back on.
And on December 1, our power returned.
Here's what I wrote about that:
It looks like light, bright bright light. It sounds like a fan blowing, a refrigerator humming, music playing. That’s right. It’s POWER, baby. (Well, it’s electricity. The real power is in us, you know.)
This miracle occurred last night. We drove home after a long day of doctor visits, x-rays, and errands. I was feeling depressed about not being able to light up a Christmas tree…
The neighbors were out in the road, talking. We stopped to find out what was going on. “Power back on. Tonight or tomorrow,” they said.
Last night we slept with air conditioning on. Today we drank cold water from the refrigerator. Our refrigerator currently houses water, fruit, and rum. About a dozen water jugs. Nothing like getting back to basics to see where your priorities lie. (Read the rest of that post here.)
We are thrilled to flip a switch and see the light come on, still ecstatic to turn on the tap and get running water.
Our area, and most of the major towns, are doing okay. Restoration of basic services continues, slowly but steadily; we have postal services, the supply chain is running, medical services are available, so on. Businesses are reopening.
Many, many people though—those who live in smaller towns and villages, higher up in the mountains, and those whose homes were destroyed—are without these basics. There's no timeline of restoration for them; they're focused on survival. Roads were destroyed. Some towns are barely accessible.
We know many in our local community, friends, who are working to supply daily needs to people in these areas. If you'd like to help Puerto Rico, please help through them: Aguadas Taina Mia Relief or RBC Maria Relief, both working to provide needed supplies to the most devastated areas, or Finca Maravilla, providing art therapy workshops and alternative education for kids affected by the hurricane.
You can also help by shopping and hiring Puerto Rican. Find your holiday gifts from Puerto Rican artisans and suppliers. Hire a Puerto Rican developer, graphic designer, copywriter, virtual assistant.
A few gift ideas:
A pound or two of fresh, delicious Puerto Rican coffee. There are many delicious brands, but I'll recommend 787 Coffee. They're donating 50% of all sales to relief efforts, and they have coffee subscriptions, too, for the people you really love. (Or, you know, for yourself.)
Dark Cocoa powder or roasted cacao beans from Jeanmarie Chocolat
The soul is progressive. It must go forward. It must meet and overcome its limitations.
- Charles Fillmore