Photo copied from FaceBook request 9/13/2017
Fort Bend County and the wider Houston metroplex news continues to zoom in on the destruction left by Hurricane Harvey and subsequent river and reservoir floodings. Heartbreaking stories are shared in media and personal conversations. In the aftermath, churches like our own, schools, gyms, fairground and convention centers shelter thousands and thousands of displaced, hurting people who have nothing and need everything. Donation centers dot our streets and neighborhoods. Food, clothing, and personal items were immediately necessary and as people have been allowed to reenter the warzone images of their sodden former homes, they need cleaning supplies and building materials plus the physical presences of helpers to demolish and repair.
In our immediate area, schools finally started this week and boxes that had contained sorted shoes quickly emptied. One friend who is volunteering at NRG center in Houston, reported a woman left wearing mismatched shoes because that was all that was available in her size and she had to have shoes. Friends who live just down the road from us tore out sheetrock, gutted their kitchen, and were thankful they had moved photographs to the second floor before they evacuated. A response to their story was sad, reporting they had put their wedding album and all family photos on top of the desk before they left. But the desk floated and the photos are gone or destroyed.
The photo above is from Rockport, down the coast from us, closer to Corpus Christi, where Harvey made landfall and left shattered homes, businesses, and dreams. They do not even know when their school can start because they are closed indefinitely. The picture made me think of the last time we were there – All our family at the time stayed in small cottages for a few days. There was kayaking, picnics, fishing – fun together. I then thought how the many who return to a picture of homes so sadly changed.
There will be more stories and hard work ahead in restoration. It will take alot of helping and alot of time. Once again, I thank God for the helping. For the hope.
“We are all in the same boat, on a stormy sea, and we owe each other a terrible loyalty.” GK Chesterton
wind. rain. relentless pounding as water rises
this hurricane is the worst ever they say
Nora calls the rising water “the ocean”
forever my picture of the storm
will be my son taking his daughter’s hand
as they hold umbrellas high
facing this together
Hurricane Harvey made landfall late on August 26, 2017, spinning and spewing and stopping over Houston and surrounding areas, including our home in Fort Bend County. Four days later, we have clear skies and sunshine for the first time. Our home is dry inside although thousands of homes are not and many thousands of people are displaced, rescued, evacuated. Businesses and hospitals are closed. Many roads are impassable. And here in our community, the Brazos river is flooding to crest 2 feet beyond its record. In the days to come, there will be more massive flooding. There is peace in this storm. There is this picture of tender love and protection. There is togetherness.
from caterpillar to chrysalis
she watched and smiled and waited
gift unwrapped, waiting done
girl and butterfly, quivering with excitement
lift new wings and fly!
purple clusters, wafting fragrance
saffron tissue ruffles
May I have a dozen of these?
heart petals unfold
opening to mystery
leaving room for new seed
“Let mystery have its place in you; do not be always turning up your whole soil with the ploughshare of self-examination, but leave a little fallow corner in your heart ready for any seed the winds may bring.”
Henri Frederic Amiel
This one tiny shell is less than 2 inches tip to tip, half the size of its photo. Although I have a basket of shells that are larger, I keep this one on top of the gratitude journal in which I write every morning. I pick it up before I open the book. It is almost weightless in the palm of my hand, yet it is heavy with stories.The shell is one of a number of True Tulip shells collected when Joe and I went with our sons out to the mud flats off Sanibel Island, Florida. We spent most of the time on the beach near our rental apartment, searching for shells, building sand castles and a tracking a hurricane! Our sons still talk about it.
We added this to our last few days on the island because of a disappointed 9-year-old son. Jeremy used his trip money at the local Wal-Mart to buy a throw net, a net with weights that can be cast out to bring in small fish and other treasures. After only a single use, the net was stolen from the area where he had carefully spread it to dry. We planned the trip out into the flats to gather shells to soften the loss, an adventure all of us would enjoy.
I had no way of knowing in 1980 that many years later, one of the smallest of the shells collected during that family fun would be held in my hand during my morning prayer time. It is one tiny shell, holding the sounds of the ocean and the laughter of my sons.