Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hurricane Sandy

sandbagging the Ice House Restaurant
I have to write while it is still fresh.

All week we have been hearing the need to prepare for the coming hurricane, with the predictions that this would have a huge impact on our corner of the world.  The grocery stores were busy selling water, milk, essentials.  Home Depot ran out of D batteries, and had a run on flashlights and generators.  Most people were taking the warnings seriously.

Of course you never know what you're going to get.  Even Sunday evening there were people in vulnerable areas declaring they'd stick it out rather than evacuate.

We prepared as much as we could - battened down things that could go flying, got the flashlights out and stationed around the house, made sure we had supplies.  And waited.  And waited.

Waryas Park, Poughkeepsie, NY
We ended up being very lucky.  There were power outages around town and throughout the county.  The river flooded its banks but fortunately most homes and businesses are on higher ground.  There weren't even a lot of trees that came down.

We lost power off and on through Monday afternoon and night.  At 1:30 am I wakened to power saws and chippers.  A tree down the block had apparently lost some limbs in such a way that the crews decided they'd top the whole tree.  I went out on the porch to see what they were doing and it was eerily warm and still, the high winds we'd had earlier had subsided, and the rain had stopped.  I couldn't help but think of all the people who were out and awake, either through worry or work, to send prayers for their safety and in gratitude for their efforts.

In the morning our power was on and we could get online to see what was happening elsewhere.  The damage was horrendous further south, in the city and NJ.  One of my friends sent a letter asking for prayers for her brother who is unwell who had had to evacuate finally, slept in his car, and was out of contact.  We still don't know his whereabouts or how he is.

One of the bright and moving things was reading a post by Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes on facebook first thing this morning.  She starts: Dear Brave Souls: I am here and awake, holding vigil for all souls in the path of floods and fires, darkness, toppled structures...  You can find the rest of this on her Facebook site.  I was moved to tears to think that people far away were keeping vigil.  What a lovely, supportive thing to do!

In the end, this is what we can offer:  to acknowledge our interconnectedness, to practice gratitude, to pray, and to act when there are things we can do.  

I hope this finds you and your loved ones safe and well.

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