Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Hurricane Thoughts

When it comes to weather catastrophes, I've been amazingly lucky. Ivan last year, and Dennis and Katrina (so far) this year. Nature constantly amazes me, with the endless surprises that she is willing and able to throw our way. Even more amazing is the human ability to adapt and survive through things that seem insurmountable. I've been reading and listening to quite a bit of the coverage regarding Katrina (no surprise there, half of the country is, too). My mind can't seem to get around the results of this storm. Looking at the pictures, reading the stories, hearing first hand accounts - all seem to leave me with a similar feeling of....disbelief. How can anything be this huge? There aren't any words to describe it...and the English language has a lot of words. Instead of thinking of the aftermath, my mind keeps returning to the hours and days before the storm hit. Instead of thinking "How would I live with the fact that I have no home to return to...", I keep thinking of the hours before Katrina landed. If I had been faced the knowledge that I had to flee - quite possibly for my life - what would I do? What would I choose to put in my car and carry away with me, knowing that anything I left would be gone forever? Since I got married only 8 months ago, the first thing that came to mind were my wedding pictures. The Mickey Mouse music box that my parents got me years ago when they went to Disney Land... The quilt that my grandmother made for me, that I only received after she had died...The picture on the mantle of me, age 2 or so, sitting on my father's lap with a bottle in my mouth (apparently recovering from some Awful Event that can only happen to two-year olds)...the picture of my husband with his brothers and cousin taken 25 or 30 years ago that (to him) represents his more carefree days...my cats and all the paraphernalia that goes with them...and, of course, my computer. But what about the things that I would choose to leave behind? Don't they say just as much about me as what I would choose to take? In the end, it doesn't matter for me -this time. To say that I'm thinking and hoping and sending positive thoughts to the people whose lives have been changed forever seems somehow...clich├ęd at this point. But I am, and I do.

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