Here in Virginia Beach we are breathing a corporate sigh of relief. Hurricane Florence, once forecast to come our way, mercifully passed us by and landed south of us with unrelenting ferocity.
While we are extremely thankful for our good luck, we are concerned about those souls who lay in its path and whose lives have abruptly changed in the past few days. In particular, a step-brother and his wife who live by the water in New Bern, NC, one of the hardest hit towns in terms of flooding. Rescue operations in that area are still underway as I type. We are still waiting to hear about their fate.
Having lived on or near the East Coast pretty much my entire life, I have always been aware of the hurricane season and its potential wrath. I’m giving away my age here, but my most vivid memory goes back to 1954 as an 11 year-old. My brother and I were separated from our parents during Hurricane Hazel as it roared through the small upper New York state town of Elmira. It was entirely our own fault and our parents were justifiably livid. Hazel, along with hurricane Agnes in 1972, still stand as two of the worst ever to affect areas that far north and inland.
It’s a fact of life if you live by the water that these things can and will happen. Much like mudslides and wildfires out west and tornadoes in the plains states. What is revealed by these events is the character of the citizens affected and those who can help those affected. I think the true human goodness of most Americans shines through.
I was absolutely struck by a photograph that appeared during the recent flooding of Florence in New Bern. To me this photograph represents human emotion on several levels. Fear, compassion, frustration, courage, determination, and love.
Don’t you wonder what he was looking at in the moment?
May all be well.