Yesterday, I was very much reminded that there are two very large portions of my heart that walk around outside of my body.
If there is anything that is predictable in North Carolina, it is the unpredictability of the weather. They had been saying all week that yesterday could hold some strong thunderstorms and tornadoes. I had been watching. I went in to work, but by 11 I realized I had no more meetings and I could take my work home. The rain was coming down pretty hard, and some schools were beginning to release early because the stronger storms were coming.
By the time I crossed into our county, the sun was shining. I went home and set up my laptop in front of the tv so I could keep an eye on the weather. All the weathermen were assuring me that our county was not in for the major stuff. The kids' school day progressed normally. They were saying we should have one strong burst around 3:30, and then it would be over. No big deal.
I got the kids off the bus at 3:15, and the sky was pretty ominous. We went home, got ready for dance and ninjitsu, and started on homework. Right on cue, the skies opened up at 3:25. Shortly thereafter, the emergency siren howled on my phone. I turned the tv back on, and sure enough we were right in the center of a tornado warning.
I am so grateful we deep purged the house! The kids, Neela, and I easily climbed into our closet under the stairs. I was so proud of my kids. They were so calm, gathering Baboo and Booboo. We read books by flashlight, and my 3:50, the all clear sounded. Our ditches were flooded, but the sun was out. Birds were singing. We went on with our day.
I dropped Issa off at the studio, and Evan and I headed to the dojo. When we were five minutes away from the dojo, the siren went off again on my phone. It was pure grace that got me the rest of the way to the dojo. My head knew it was the safest option, but my heart wanted to race back to my girl.
We walked into the dojo, and I assured Evan of all the places we could be in a potentially bad moment, this was the place to be. I had trained survivalists and retired Marines around me! Mr. Justin read my face, and asked if I was okay. I told him Issa was at the studio. I finally cracked, though, when he put his hand on my shoulder, "I'm not going to let you leave. But, if something happens, as soon as it's over I'll get you to her." I know he would have, too.
We hunkered down at the dojo, and let me tell you, Mr. Bryan, Mr. Griffin, and Mr. Justin are a team. As we were heading into the hall, we saw the funnel cloud--thankfully Evan didn't. It appeared to be moving away, but Griffin stayed out to watch it. If it turned, the plan was for the three of them to grab the thick crash pads and form an extra wall around us.
As we were sitting on the floor, telling the kids there was nothing to worry about--also known as lying through our teeth--I was texting people I knew at the studio to check on Issa. The weather was much better there, and this may be my new favorite picture:
Within five minutes, the storm passed and we were in the clear again. The sun came out. It was a beautiful evening.
God and I spent a lot of time talking yesterday. Prayers for safety. Prayers of gratitude. Prayers for these two pieces of my heart that walk outside of my body.