How does that happen? I wrote this essay in the dangerously dry, hot summer and didn’t get around to polishing it to post until now. But I still think it’s good and believe it, so here it is.
With so many devastating weather events with people losing everything it’s hard to keep encouraged and hopeful. That will be my goal. To remain hopeful.
I see things quite differently because of my faith and the health journey I’ve been on. Life altering events I thought were ‘the end’ turned out to be the beginning. It was the worst of times and the best of times. I love my life today regardless of MS.
The Bible is filled the bleakest, most impossible situations that turned into the most unspeakable joy. Let’s look at a few: The greatest one of course is the resurrection. What the apostles and Mary went through when they watched Jesus crucified must have been the bottom. What a horrendous devastation. However, when he rose again, can you imagine the indescribable joy in Mary’s heart when she saw her son alive? What about Joseph been thrown in a well to left for dead and becoming in charge of all the food over all the land during a great famine; David being pursued by a jealous king only to replace him; Paul persecuting Christians then becoming their number one supporter; Lazarus dying and leaving his sisters desolate only to be raised from the dead. The Bible is filled with stories of destruction that turned out to be stories of unspeakable joy.
So how does that translate to losing your home to fire and flood? When I first got MS it was life altering. The mistake I think we’re making as we rebuild after a devastation is that we’re doing the same thing. There’s an expression ‘doing the same thing and expecting different results.’ I wonder how many weather events and how many rebuilds it will take to start doing things differently? With MS I had to give up life as I had known it. I had to completely let go of recapturing my old life and start anew. I had to keep the slate bare until new ideas came. New ways of being, new things I could do with different physical parameters.
Escaping with only our lives whether fire or flood, we can start to rebuild a better world. Instead of rebuilding single-family homes maybe we need to start seeing ourselves in a multiple dwelling unit to help address the housing crisis. Or can we rebuild with a higher density capacity to mitigate the shortage? We need to start thinking of others’ comfort, not just our own. Mother Theresa said ‘Live simply, so others can simply live.’
Victoria has implemented an aggressive bike lane initiative. Many drivers are so angry and rightfully so because it’s taken away a driving lane in each direction and new cyclists have a terrible sense of entitlement. But I think it’s a wonderful forward move on the city’s part and feel like the worst (anger) will become the best. It may take five or ten years and we’ll have to put up with a lot more construction to complete them. It took me 6 hours for a round trip from Oak Bay to the Esquitmalt pool for a 45 minute specialty class one rainy November afternoon. And even once construction is complete, we may have to implement cyclist training, perhaps licensing and user fees which will go over like a rock - but cars are unsustainable in any form. We’ve known that for a long time. So it will be messy before it gets better but riding bikes is healthy and sustainable. And I bet if you talk to someone who recently adopted it as an additional mode of transportation, I bet they feel good about it on many different levels.
So instead of being overcome and set in your ways with all the loss due to climate change, maybe the worst is really only the best in disguise. It just takes a little heart and patience.
Or maybe a lot.