Her winds snapped utility poles in half causing transformers to explode with electric sparks flying and wires to break and in those moments, we were in the dark. No lights, no air conditioning, no TV and no internet. Just a blustering wind that drove rain against the window panes and that caused our roof to creak with each outburst. Tropical winds and hurricane force gusts of air made palm tree fronds shake violently and pine tree branches snap. Torrents of windswept rain turned roads into shallow rivers and yards into ponds.
The next evening, after the storm passed, I ventured out in the night to experience the peacefulness of the natural world. There was no moon, only twinkling starlight that cut through the blackness of the night. I admit, it was eerie with the absence of street lights and the sounds of cars on nearby highways. Ponds, filled with fresh rainwater, triggered frogs to croak while barred owls called out with their “Who Cooks for You” chant from distant tree tops.
It was uncomfortable without the modern conveniences, yet for the Seminole people who lived here hundreds of years earlier, it was their way of life. Chickee huts constructed of cypress trees with platforms three feet above the ground and palmetto thatch roofs, had no lights, no air conditioning, no TV, no internet. The blackness of the night was not unnerving to them, it was just another night. They drew comfort from the singing of the frogs and owls and other calls of the night.
I guess, not living in those earlier times when there was absence of the conveniences of today, I am spoiled. I do not know if I could live the way of native Americans. After a couple of days without air conditioning, Anne and I left our little town and went to a hotel that had power for air conditioning units, WiFi for internet and TV. I have greater appreciation for the people who lived in earlier times; they were resilient in the face of adversity. And yet, I am here as a result of their resoluteness. I am truly humbled by it all.