This week, a hurricane hit the Florida panhandle and my home state of Georgia. Although the damage has been done, the work is just beginning.
My classes were canceled for Hurricane Michael, so I was home when the storm hit. It seems odd, no one ever expected it to be a threat. One moment, it was spinning as a Cat. 2 in the Gulf and expected to hit as a Cat. 2. Then, on Tuesday, it exploded into a Cat. 4 as it approached the panhandle. A category 2 is less menacing than the beast of a category 4. No one was prepared for it. There was not much time to prepare for it. It entered Georgia as a category 2, the first ‘hurricane’ to hit the state in one hundred years. Southwest Georgia is devastated. Middle Georgia is devastated. And while the power went out for eight hours and there are limbs in my yard, nothing compares to the Florida coast.
One summer, as a young preteen, my family and I took a week-long vacation to the panhandle where I observed the whitest beaches and clearest water I had ever seen. The sand was like sugar crystals, the sun was warm, and the water was the color of turquoise. It was picturesque, and I cannot imagine the same place I am envisioning now looking anything less than I remember. However, it does. The photos that are emerging of the aftermath are absolutely heartbreaking. The destruction is devastating. The pictures I see now remind me of splintered wood stacked into scattered piles.
Human perseverance is powerful. We are resilient. We rebuild. I am confident of this. While the destruction is immense, it is not something that cannot be overcome. So, if you are able, donate. Donate physically, emotionally, or financially to their effort in rebuilding their lives. Their lives are their homes, their families, their jobs, their possessions. While clear skies are here and the work begins tomorrow, it is never quick or easy. Kindness is everything.