Surviving Harvey Day Four
Appearance by the Sun 4:30 pm . . .
We awoke with sunrise after a quiet, inauspicious night. As I made my way to check windows & doors, my bare feet hit wet cloth in an unexpected patch of flooring in front of the back door.
Everything around the patch was dry – there was nothing in the spots I had been monitoring. I search for the source of the damp cloth only to spot evidence of mildew & water damage in the downstairs hallway next to the door.
My calm & focus faltered & I could feel panic & anxiety intrude.
So, I messaged my sweet friend Jayne Pride, owner of a roofing company, & asked if she had any plastic sheeting. She found some in her garage & brought it over, along with two bottles of Starbucks’ Frappuccino.
Jayne examined the water damage & determined that it was not new. She checked out the roof over the area & said Your roof looks good, the siding looks good. Maybe this damage was caused by the upstairs bathroom.
She left the enormous box of wide plastic sheeting, just in case.
Our day passed watching the local & national coverage, carefully avoiding the coverage of the Apricot in Chief’s arrival in Texas. Jean watched Spiderman instead.
As I watch the outpouring of generosity & human kindness within our region & coming from across the country, I realize we are witnessing the very finest instincts of humanity. The differences & prejudices & stubbornness that causes us to fear the Other have been usurped & replaced about what truly unites us – we are all, each of us, in this world together.
It is the erasure of those divisions, too often learned & perpetuatedfrom one generation to another, that will allow us to survive this crisis & this tenacious storm.
When Harvey & his remnant storm minions dissipate, our focus will eventually move from rescue to restoration & rebuilding.
We will emerge stronger, wiser & humbled.
In this tragic moment, our shared humanity transcends race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, political differences & culture.
If we, as Texans, Americans & global citizens, retain anything from Harvey and his havoc, I hope it is this shared humanity, generosity, compassion & love for our fellow pilgrims in life.
It has been said that Texas is a state of mind.
True, but Texas is so much more than an attitude.
Although it pains my left leanings to paraphrase Senator John Cornyn, - Texas is not just a place where we are born or where we choose to live. It is family & connection & a stubborn resilience.
As I witness & experience ordinary people reach out to those familiar & Other, I think:
This is Texas. This is how we roll.
This is the tenacity & resourcefulness of the human spirit.