Saturday, November 3, 2012
I was going to post about Fall. How beautiful the leaves are when they turn golden red. How Lexi's school went to make apple cider and there were scarecrows standing on the lawn. How I love this time of year with all the festivities of pumpkin picking and apples and the air turning cold. How lovely it is to have my mom with us.
And then along came Sandy and nothing I wanted to write seemed at all relevant - only frivolous in the wake of the devastation and disruption here. Families all around us with no power and no heating, still, days after the storm, and it's getting colder here now. There is more rain on the way they say, and I think of everyone already under sand and without electricity. Trees are still down, power lines dangling across the road. Schools have been closed all week and gas lines stretch further than the eye can see. I drove past one yesterday that had at least 300 cars in it. We were so lucky in the storm and I really am grateful, if not a little guilty too. Those of us who kept power feel like we aren't really on the ground and suffering along with everyone else, grateful as we are, it's a strange place to be. We have been hunkering down and staying in a lot over the past week, and the news has been on almost all the time. War vets and mothers choked up or in tears - people have lost everything. Roads covered in sand so deep they are using snow ploughs to dig out a path to drive along. Houses gone or completely shifted off their foundations. The devastation is unbelievable.
And yet through it all I am amazed by the sense of community, the infrastructure running in the background doing its best to get people back on power and back up and running. Shelters, emergency services, news reporters, neighbors. People standing on a street corner in Staten island handing out warm food they prepared themselves. I am upset beyond words at how a time like this can be used for scaremongering and a complete lack of sensitivity by some, it beggars belief. But I turn to all the strength and optimism around me as I watch power being restored (albeit slowly) to parts of lower Manhattan and New Jersey, to friends close by. Schools go back on Monday and all any of us want is for things to go back to a semblance of normal.
Here's to being hopeful and appreciating the strength we have within our communities, here and everywhere else.
Hoping you and your families are warm and safe as you read this today.