A Test of Gratitude

After spending 5 days in Melbourne, where it dropped to 7 degrees in the nights and mornings, I was looking forward to returning to the warmth of Sydney, where at least autumn temperatures are supposed to be warmer.

Unfortunately, nature seemed to have other plans for us, as the state of New South Wales was hit by one of the worst storm winds in decades, causing over 200 000 homes to lose power, deaths, and traffic disturbances.

Here in the valley below the Blue Mountains, the most inconvenience we have suffered is the loss of hot water and heat. That’s all. I know people could go on about how freezing cold our water is (as if the weather isn’t cold enough) and how we’re shivering under our blankets at night because our heaters aren’t working, but if we just look at the people who have had to evacuate because of the floods and storm, we are so much more fortunate. On top of that, the accommodations office actually took the trouble to assign us alternative rooms for sleeping and bathing (I took the bathing option, just not the sleeping one). I surprised myself by feeling gratitude for all that has been arranged, instead of feeling like a victim of circumstances. All that mindfulness practice must be more useful that I thought possible. More incentive to strive on.

Today the skies and winds are calmer, and we finally see the sun. But the homes without electricity are estimated to go on without for another week, until the affected infrastructures are repaired. The roads and tracks which have been damaged will take time to repair. The lives which have been lost will never be recovered. Praying and thinking deeply for all those who are going through difficult times.

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