All my hurricane shutters are in place. The car is packed with water, emergency food supplies and clothes to last me for ten days. All of this in preparation and anticipation of the unwelcomed visit that wild bitch, Hurricane Irma, is about to make to my neck of the woods.

I don’t really know where I will end up. I will have to evacuate my Florida beach side home by 8:00 am tomorrow. I volunteered for the Red Cross, but I guess it is too early for them to assign me where they need me. So, for now, I am planning to bunk with my friends Michael and Steve at Robert’s house that is inland and will not be evacuated. I’ll be safe there. So you see, there is really nothing more for me to do but take a final bike ride while the sun is shining and the winds are calm.

I recall during my career seeing a little cartoon going around my office titled “The last Act of Defiance”. This little gem depicted a small mouse flipping off an eagle as the giant bird was swooping down to grab the little mammal with his claws and (presumably) eat him. Perhaps some might think I am taking my bike ride in similar defiance against nature. But, I am not; my ride is in celebration of the boundless beauty that life offers at every moment. In my present reality, a good bike ride seems like the best thing to do. It beats worrying.

It is times like this that I wonder why I ever left my beloved Denver. I guess that after decades of being responsible for snow removal, I got to hate the damn white stuff. A house near the warm Atlantic Ocean sounded good then, but I didn’t realize it would not be so hot to live by the beach when a hurricane is coming. This is my second hurricane experience in the two years plus since I moved to Florida. Perhaps I jumped from the frying pan into the fire.

These are not my first experiences with hurricanes, so I am not as afraid of them as I used to be. At my age, several metaphorical hurricanes have passed through my life and demolished everything in it. In every case, all the things that held up my self-confidence and sense of security were torn away. I know there is nothing worse than starting over from scratch not knowing what the future will bring, but I learned the sun always rises and things, perhaps slower than we want them to, work themselves out. I also discovered that material things are not as meaningful as I thought they were and can be easily replaced over time. One thing is certain, the journey from your old life to the new one may seem perilous at times, but I have confidence the Universe/God/Higher Intelligence always provides everything you need to evolve into an even greater and more fulfilling life.

So, whether you are a “dreamer” questioning your future after the demise of DACA, or you are an old man wondering if he will have a home to come back to after a hurricane, it is important to remember that fear and desperation are temporary, they will only last as long as you allow them to stay. But, joy, love and hope for a better future always endure and ultimately overcome the greatest of hardships. Arm yourself with these special powers and move forward. For all who are suffering from or are about to suffer from the wake of this terrible storm, I offer the wise words of an axiom I grew up with in Cuba, “No hay mal que por bien no venga”; “Even out of the worst of things, good things come”.

I pray for joy, love and hope for all of us during these scary days to come.

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