Two weeks ago yesterday the region of France where I live was hit by a storm; Tempest Gloria. Unlike a similar, weaker storm a little over a year earlier, there was no loss of life so, that was a huge positive thanks to meteorologists who gave plenty of accurate warnings which enabled early evacuations where necessary. The last storm like this came in the night and took people by surprise.
Since the late 2018 storm, local authorities were clear about where defenses are weak and what needed to be done to protect from future storms. Two days before Tempest Gloria struck, a local woman who lives in an area that was severely damaged in 2018 was asked by a radio presenter; “Are the problems of 2018 solved”? Her ironic laugh said much, and her words confirmed. “No, we cleaned up but other than that, nothing has changed”. The Gloria warnings came in several hours after that live interview when the storm on the eastern Spanish coast increased in intensity.
By 10:00 AM on Wednesday 22 January, houses close to the river Aude were already evacuated and the water level was 1 meter high on the houses. Schools were closed and safety centers were open and receiving those displaced by the storm. Local radio told us to get indoors and DO NOT drive. I was already in town collecting our daughter when that warning came on the radio. We hurried home. Six hours later, we had a deep natural moat around our hilltop village and the www.inforoute11.fr website showed more “Black Roads” in the area than those passable. Small streams became raging torrents.
At 2:00 PM the following day, the sky was blue, temperature a comfortable 15°C. We were still surrounded by water and although I joked about vineyard tours by boat, it was a real possibility.
One of our daughters is a member of the local canoe / kayak club and we went along to help with clean-up and assess the situation. The next part of this story is told with pictures and captions.
The Municipal Campsite . . . The shallow crater in the foreground contained a piece of children’s playground equipment installed and fixed on safety matting. Swings, roundabouts, slide . . . Nothing has been recovered.
The containers were carried almost 400 hundred meters to their present location inside the campsite. To arrive where they are, they “pinballed” through the trees. Note a hole in the side of the container on the right. A welded plate covered this hole before the storm.
Looking left of the left-hand container, a dark bar is seen. This is the far side of the riverbank and water was on the road above. The foreground of the photo is what remains of the playground – nothing.
The crater was flat ground before the storm. Note the open door on the container; this was locked with a heavy chain and padlock. The contents of both containers were empty after the storm (not stolen). Expensive canoe / kayak equipment gone.
The far riverbank is clear here. Water levels were considerably higher than the top.
The proportions of this picture look a little odd. The height of the tree was around 20 meters and the rock in the foreground is 1.5 meters diameter and 30-CM thick. I tried to move it with no success. The rocks came from several kilometers up stream. The concrete strip was the canoe club slipway.
Such is the power of nature.
Relating to What?
In life and business, challenges inevitably come our way and how we choose to deal with them depends on success or failure. If we decide that something can be done to improve things, it can be done. Looking at something negatively will not help to overcome the challenge because then it may consume us and lead to quitting. It’s OK to be concerned; not consumed.
Some people choose to swim against the current and thrive in challenging situations. Others feel more secure going with the flow.
I’m going to leave you with those thoughts for today, but I do promise to return tomorrow with some positive responses.
There are many ways to effectively explore and challenge our limits. We need a box of tools to challenge the boundaries and move forward toward success.
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Comments and Questions
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I bow to the place in you that is love, light, and joy
and I wish you a wonderful day.
Peace & Light
Steve Costello is a British Community & Youth Studies and Psychology honors graduate with over 30-years theoretical and practical experience in the Personal Development public and private sectors. He founded ExGro in 2018 with business partner, friend and clinical psychologist, Leo Faerberg.