Dear diary, It’s been five days since I had Internet. I feel alone. And I know there are people without electricity, and that sucks too. I keep calling to ask when it will be fixed, but they tell me they just don’t know. This snowstorm was predicted, like most natural disasters are nowadays, but we still couldn’t prepare for the worst. No Internet. No heat. No school (not bad for the kids, but oh so very bad for the parents). No transportation. No way to plan for what’s next.
Living in Israel you always have to be worried about one threat or another. Terrorism. War. Tweets. We are always on alert.
Last year, when I heard the sirens in Jerusalem that fateful Friday night in November, I ran to the shelter in a panic. I couldn’t figure out how many diapers to bring for my son, yet I myself was pooping my pants. So there’s the truth. When I finally got to the shelter, shaky hands and all, I looked around at my neighbors who took safety with me. Except none of them had shaky hands. In fact, they were smiling. They were chatting and taking this opportunity to meet each other or figure out how they actually already know each other, through one Shmuel or another. They weren’t afraid. Because of those threats. The terrorism. The wars. The tweets. They were on alert. But this snowstorm…That’s where you will find their shaky hands. Gripping to steering wheels as they finally slow down on the icy streets. Holding on to phones as they brace for the answer of another canceled school day. Or standing in an almost-line at the supermarket fighting over the last bag of milk.
This fear of Mother Nature and her natural disasters is certainly not new to Israel or anywhere in the world. But the attacks are bigger. They are more frequent. And can cause more chaos than another terrorist attack, war or tweet. The disasters are random, and even when predicted, leave people without bare necessity; forgot my superficial cries for Internet, we’re talking about homes, food and water. Mother Nature doesn’t need to threaten us. She doesn’t need to declare war. And she sure doesn’t need to tweet about it. She isn’t famous for twerking, but certainly has plenty of viral videos of her moves. She doesn’t have a seat in the UN or even get to vote, but gets her point across anyway. She doesn’t want a Nobel Peace Prize, yet she certainly deserves an award for everything she has done.
After all, these disasters aren’t just her doing. We all take part in contributing to the weather crisis. The world is falling a part because we aren’t taking care of it. Instead we choose to focus on the threat of evil people, doing evil things. Or making Peace between nations, even if it is just on paper. Paper that wasn’t recycled and will most likely end up in a trashcan somewhere. More oil. More spills. Less water. Less crops.
Whether it is floods, earthquakes, or snow storms, thousands of people, no millions of people around the world are affected, their lives change forever. This snowstorm was mild compared to some of the horrible disasters that occurred this year around the world. And yet, the storm took away our comfort, our security, our daily schedule…and not to harp on it, but my Internet. As the snow melts, I hope we shed light on the real issues.
That’s what I learned. And that’s what we already know.