Ice Storm 2013

by Melissa West on December 27, 2013

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Ice-Storm-Survival-2013:Over the last five days, our family was one of the hundreds of thousands of whose home was affected by the ice storm that hit the greater Toronto area on the night of Saturday December 21st. The storm caused all the trees to be covered by ice and then the weight of the ice on the trees caused the branches of many trees to break many power lines. Hundreds of thousands of people in the greater Toronto area were affected. That meant no heat or electricity in a city where temperatures were plummeting to well below the freezing mark.

The first two days we stayed in our home huddled in one room warming ourselves with candles. After two days there was just not enough heat in our home for us to stay any longer. Our home was actually cold enough to refrigerate food without a refrigerator. We drained our pipes and turned off our water and moved in with friends who were kind enough to take us in for the duration.

What did I learn from this experience? Being taken into survival mode, put me squarely into my root chakra. I could focus on nothing else other than the security, survival, and day to day necessities of my family. Even when I had a place to stay my sole focus was on food and shelter. When there was a problem with my home and my base of operations was in jeopardy, even though I knew better intellectually, it was difficult to be anything other than self-centered, dispirited and fearful because my security was threatened.

The day that our power went out we had just completed the Winter Solstice Retreat in which we had created some new intentions for the return of the light. One of mine was to savour the sweetness of life. What I understand from this experience is that one must have their basic needs of survival and security met in their root chakra to be able to move into the second chakra’s realm of pleasure and warmth.

One time when Tim and I were driving back to check our home we spoke about this. About how lucky we are to have security, home, and survival all wrapped up most days. Gratitude and savouring the sweetness of life may in fact be a luxury for many who are living a hand to mouth existence. Tim and I feel we have much more empathy for this now.

Coming out of this experience I feel more than ever, this journey to Self that we practice through yoga is indeed a privilege. One that many who are fighting for survival, security, money, jobs and a home do not have the luxury of exploring.


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