"Each home we visited swore to make preparations in the future and to invest in some sort of preparedness and emergency strategy. And, as the thunder rolls and I watch the clouds unfold, I wonder if it was merely talk or a true wake-up call. As the rain slowly peters out, I must dress for work. These thoughts will be revisited, as surely as the waters will yet again rise but for now the story is not newsworthy and will shortly be forgotten."
It seems like years ago when those words were written. It can not be only a year ago. Last time was the storm of a lifetime, never to be seen again. Last time was an event not seen in 100 years and not to be seen for another 100. And, yet, the wind pounded the side of my house. The rain stung like cold little needles flung from the clouds. The popping transformers seemed real enough. The rising, rushing water looked real, too. The wiped out beach towns do not seem real but the news says the pictures are true. The darkness, I can attest, cloaking the Big City and surrounding suburbs was tangible. The loss of life and property are truly, presently setting in. But the whines and cries of the frivolous are loudest.
Those that had the ways and the time and the knowledge to prepare but smugly sat by, stating that it will never happen again, or it can not happen to me, those are the loudest cries of outrage at the state, the police, the neighbors for having prepared or having power. They shiver in a cold home of their own making and wait for help not out of necessity but out of weakness borne of laziness, complacency. They had the means for preparation, learning from the storm of a year ago and blindly went about their daily life, knowing some one else would care for them and when that care did not come fast enough they howled.
My heart goes out to those that lost everything. The brutality of Nature displayed on our TV screens sometimes visits us more intimately. We can not stop the forces of the Earth that carry us through this life. And so I feel for those left homeless, without anything. Yet, for the most part, they are the ones carrying on, picking up the pieces and rebuilding, vowing not to be broken by the events but to grow stronger. For those that can not care for themselves, that truly need a hand, the elderly, the sick, the very young, we as a community must look out for them, prop them on our shoulders and carry them through. I will happily share with those in need, sacrifice clothing, donate food, go out of my way, but I cringe at the whines of those able-bodied that are inconvenienced at their own hand.
To complain of no heat when your neighbors huddle beside a fire made from the remnants of their home, to cry of no power when your neighbor has no clothes but what they currently wear, to shudder at the thought of living without a phone for a few hours while others try to fathom living without a loved one lost to the wind. The voices heard during this crisis were not the people ravaged by the storm stripped of everything, they were the voices of those that sat comfortably (but cold) inside their homes with cellphones charged ready to complain of their discomfort while doing nothing to fix it.
The trains will run again, the gas pumps will be full, the electric will once more flow freely through the power lines, and life will return to normal. And while the strong rebuild, others will once again look for shoulders to carry them through the storm and ears to listen to their tales of woe.
"Each home we visited swore to make preparations in the future and to invest in
some sort of preparedness and emergency strategy. And, as the thunder rolls and
I watch the clouds unfold, I wonder if it was merely talk or a true wake-up
call. As the rain slowly peters out, I must dress for work. These thoughts
will be revisited, as surely as the waters will yet again rise but for now the
story is not newsworthy and will shortly be forgotten."