I have family in Houston, Texas. Hurricane Ike has me concerned for their safety. I wanted them to leave before the hurricane got there. I called my sister and suggested she head for safer pastures Thursday night when the highway looked clear. I went to Google and looked at the traffic map for the city. All the highways had green flow bars. Open highway to safety.
But my family made that evacuation trek just before hurricane Rita a few years back. They spent seventeen hours on Interstate 45 to get to Dallas when there wasn’t much of an impact to Houston. In fact, I was living in Houston at the time when Rita came ashore. I was out of town and decided to stay away until after the hurricane came through. The only damage to my home was a section of fence went down that spent the majority of its time down on the ground. Rita managed to get me off my ass to repair that fence once and for all. However, for the most part, Rita was a bust.
Ike is different. While Rita was smaller, weaker, and actually came ashore east of Houston, over Beaumont and Port Arthur, Texas, Ike is much larger, stronger, and its eye will fly almost directly over downtown Houston and the city hall. As I write this, just after six this Saturday morning, Ike is now on the north side of the fourth largest city in America and it’s still rated a category two. Sustained winds are still in excess of one hundred miles per hour.
Much of the electricity in the Houston and Galveston area is out. Phone lines are busy. I’m cut off from my family. I’m watching the news and I see video of places I’m familiar and it’s unbelievable. And like a lot of people, all I can do is wait and watch and hope that my family is okay.
Oya and Yemonja and Sango are coming through hard on this one. A few days ago hurricane Ike filled the good majority of the Gulf of Mexico. The phenomenon looked massive and menacing. There were predictions that it would reach a category four. But it never got that strong. But such a massive storm at a relatively low category two is still a freaking hurricane.
I don’t even bother trying to discuss what’s happening with Baba Orunmila. This hurricane was predicted days ago and my family, along with a number of other people in the area, decided to take their chance and ride out the storm. Now I could be superstitious and give a couple of ebos to Oya, Yemonja and Sango to do what I think will persuade the Orisas to keep my family safe. But ebos are not an effective replacement for common sense. Besides, I seriously doubt if a ten dollar bottle of rum is all it takes to affect a change on such a massive phenomenon of nature.
It will be a few hours before the storm passes through the city. I will wait along with everyone else to see what’s happened to the Houston area. My family lives well inland so there really is little danger from serious flooding. But it’s a fair bet that there will be enough soggy floors to initiate some new carpet and other flooring purchases in the near future. I don’t think anyone thought to board up their windows. There might be some new window acquisitions as well. I’m pretty sure my family is safe and will have many stories to tell. But you never know.
One of my personal beliefs is that when your time comes, your time comes. Contrary to what a lot of Ifa practitioners believe you can’t make deals with Orunmila to change your fate. Things happen for a reason. My family members may have thought it was their choice to stay. But it is possible that they made the choice to stay because they were destined to lose their life in a hurricane related accident. It could be something as straight forward as a water related drowning or a projectile driven by hurricane force winds. Or it might be something as freakish as a leaking roof with water dripping on the floor making it slick and someone slipping and hitting their head just right, or just wrong depending on perspective.
I hope my family is okay. I won’t know until I can talk to them. And then again I might be worried about my family members in Houston only to find out something happened to another family member in a city nowhere near Ike and his projected path. The reading for the year said that we should keep close to our families. This year of Olodumare is a year of great change and we never know how that change will manifest itself. The greatest reading in the world isn’t going to reveal what Orunmila doesn’t want us to know. Sometimes we just have to go through it and figure it out for ourselves.