The Labor Day weekend and the resumption of school are signals that mark the end of summer in many parts of the United States. Families have one last barbecue. Women put away their white shoes. Everyone anticipates the bright colors of falling leaves and cooler weather.
Florida has its own demarcation. It’s called the hurricane season, which comes at this time every year. The population invariably stresses out while watching a series of alphabetically named storms that either miss, brush by or hit our area. The feeling is one of helpless anticipation.
The news channels always have a field day with warnings and veiled prognostications of doom. Scenes of previous disasters are flashed across television screens. Reporters, donning full rain gear give on-scene bulletins, often before the first drops fall.
People are told to purchase water, canned food and emergency supplies. Stock is quickly depleted as shoppers mob local stores. Tempers are frayed.
As I write this column, a tropical storm, predicted to become a hurricane, is barreling toward South Florida. The idea that we have no control over where and if it will hit is sobering. We want to believe that modern technology has helped us to be masters of our fate. The assumption, obviously, is mistaken.
The hurricane season and all its uncertainties are actually of some merit. It serves as a wake-up call and a reality check of life.
Rosh Hashanah rapidly approaches. It is intended as a time of introspection and examination. Hopefully, the lessons of hurricane season will be helpful as we understand we are not the ultimate arbitrators of life.
About the Author: Shelley Benveniste is South Florida editor of The Jewish Press.
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