I woke up in a funk and it's easy to blame the weather. A dreary, 40 degree and rainy Halloween here in Pittsburgh. If I didn't know about Sandy, I would probably just chalk it up to typical fall weather. Aside from some unusually blustery winds on Monday night, it's like this a lot in western Pennsylvania.  I personally enjoy the seasons and a reason to drink a warm cup of cider. I certainly can't complain about our weather when the situation is so much worse elsewhere.

I remember driving into Louisiana, a full year after Katrina hit. The devastation was unbelievable. Hurricanes and floods really do make it look like a war zone. People were still living in make-shift trailers or tents, cooking on portable propane stoves and showering outdoors. Electricity had only recently been restored. At the aid center where we volunteered, an alligator was rumored to be living in the swimming pool.

The days following a disaster - however big or small - are emotional. People hug each other. They get angry. Politicians survey and give consoling speeches. Response teams stream in. "We'll rebuild," they say determinedly. And it feels possible, because they have the support of the whole country at that stage...sending food donations and tweeting about the news coverage.

After a while, the rest of us will forget, and there will still be mud and mold and waiting on insurance checks and communities that are never the same again. The evening news doesn't report that part. There will be another storm, and then the people of New Jersey will be the veteran survivors who will advise the next victims. "You're in it for the long haul," they will say. They always say that.

I have an awesome appreciation for the weather systems of our planet. All this water cycling around and around, cleansing and changing our terrain. It looks beautiful from space. Check out this NASA footage of the storm's development. Amazing that the graceful swirl of that storm results in this.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I helped friends clean up after the flood in 2004 and it is heartbreaking and backbreaking. Victims will be forgotten and will be left trying to piece their lives together long after the news camera's leave town. ;(
Aunt DC