I am so so grateful for shelter.

Just 8 days into living in Cayman and I’ve endured my first storm, sitting by the sliding glass doors as I watch the trees take a battering.

I’ve never watched a storm in this way before. In some ways I’m fascinated and in others I’m slightly horrified. I can’t imagine if this had been upgraded to hurricane status. Not only am I ill-prepared by having no way to contact anyone, I also don’t know a single thing about the island because I’ve been locked up in this isolation since the moment I arrived. (It makes me wonder about this whole quarantine thing and what it does to the human condition. But I digress.)

Electricity is gone, which likely means I’ll also lose water and also means I no longer have wifi, can’t cook, fridge doesn’t work, and I’ll have to spare the battery life on my electronics. More than that, the roof has begun leaking—and there’s hardly even been any rain. Still, I’m grateful for this space because it seems to be strong and well situated. I’m also reminded of why it’s good to be on the ground level, as well as what the implications are for having floor to ceiling windows and doors… also, to be isolated from society.

I’m sure if I weren’t in quarantine I would have gone to stay with Christina, at least so I wouldn’t endure this alone. And I’m grateful to have that option in the future should this not be the last. It’s so important to have people around.

I’m also grateful for Mother Nature. For the reminder of who is in charge and just how little power we actually have. And also for the trees, which serve as such a barrier of protection for us. They’ve stood firm and taken this beating for hours, to protect us. Some have fallen, but most continue to fight. I feel grateful to be surrounded by them, even as I watch them sway to and fro. I’m grateful in particular for the frangipani that stood in between the glass doors and the wind surges. She shielded me plenty.

I’m also thankful that it wasn’t worse and that I have the strength of character to see it through by myself, with little suffering.

~

And what an interesting day it has been. I was forced into a vipassana by the combination of quarantine and loss of electricity. I read an entire book. Wrote down at least 60 pages of missing diary entries. I finished another assignment for my MEd.

I also watched as the ceiling leaked. The water levels outside the door rose. The trees fell. The ocean roared. All the while wondering about all the food I just bought that needs refrigeration and what I will eat tomorrow if electricity remains gone and everything has gone bad.

But, again, I didn’t suffer. I kept the doors cracked and allowed the cool wind to lull me under the blankets while I finally finished that book I had barely started reading. I spent the better part of the day wrapped up in the fictional story of Aimee and Ian, whose love I aspire to have one day. And when the night came, it got very dark. It made me realise how much light pollution we’ve actually adjusted to in society. It also made me weary of being on my computer. And when I finally closed all devices and blew out the candles, feeling my way through complete darkness in an empty and unfamiliar house, I could’ve almost felt sorry for myself. I chose instead to be grateful. To remember that I’m strong and I’m loved and that this is a minor inconvenience, if not an opportunity to focus and get things done.

I truly enjoyed the reading. I’m grateful to be safe and protected in a house by the sea. And when this all passes, quarantine included, I’ll be all the better for it. As always.

Anicha.

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