The Hurricane with the kind and gentle name of Florence was neither kind nor gentle. She came slowly like a shadow in the far distance, crawling, inching her way across the horizon, a mass of darkness and destruction more powerful than anything on earth. She is like the dragons of old full of fire and fury or like the Greek gods throwing lightning and thunder from the skies. She sees us in the distance and slows to a crawl so that we might see her power and know fear. She is the apocalypse, and she will come to us boldly from across the sea.
We are helpless to stop her even with all our technology and brilliant minds. We are humbled and stand wringing our hands in despair and desperation. We can only flee by the millions packing a few possessions and forsaking all others to the whims of the storm. We are filled with anxiety and hopelessness. This is nature unbound and unleashed with crashing waves higher than the buildings. The rain dropping by feet and not inches overflowing riverbanks and invading our homes.
The wind is like the furies a wild and volatile entity ripping down the ancient oak trees and trapping us inside. We tremble in fear and hide in the darkness hoping for the night to pass, hoping the storm will be gone when daylight comes.
Bit by bit we find our courage and our kindness, we take our animals to a safe place. We find words to relieve our children and grandchildren of their fears. We assure them that this too will pass. We help our friends and neighbors, and we begin to once again believe tomorrow will come. We will rebuild and be strong. In the end, we find heart and the strength to reach out with a caring hand.
Point Of View
The storm fades and displays the last of its furies and even a hint of beauty. As with all days, they start new with a clean slate. I think the parting gift to me was it made me feel humble knowing it was something much greater and more powerful than anything we ever imagined.
My wife and I, with our dogs and cats, went to her brother’s horse farm. It is a quiet, peaceful place, and provided us solitude and sanctuary. The first morning I was sitting out back with the dogs. They were in doggie heaven with acres of fenced in places to run and play. While watching the sheer joy of them running and playing I kept hearing a noise in the trees. I close my eyes and searched my memories and realized it was the lost sound of the wind blowing through the trees, a sound I have not heard since my childhood on the farm.
While the storm was frightening and drove us from our homes I found a moment of remembrance a sound long forgotten. I know in some form I will find a way back to the country. A home where I can barely see my neighbor and the sky is filled with stars. If you are quiet, you can hear the wind blowing through the trees and see lightning bugs in the yard. In the darkness of the storm, I found a long-forgotten feeling telling me it doesn’t have to be a memory that it is just down the road waiting for me to come back.