There was a bit of excitement in my little part of the Midwest yesterday. A tornado hit just one mile south and then just under 2 miles east of where I live. While thankfully, no one was seriously injured in our area, there was significant damage done to a number of houses, a stable east of town suffered serious damage to every one of its buildings (but every animal was spared, praise be!), and a few businesses had their roofs blown off.
As of this writing though, there were seven deaths in other counties as a result of this storm system and the tornadoes it spawned. Countless others have been affected as well due to damage sustained to houses and businesses elsewhere. But Iowa is full of people who band together and help. Today, many will be helping as volunteers to clear storm damage and assess situations. There’s already accounts of shelter and food being offered to those who need it.
Even the hubby and I were offered help. We had lost power for four hours, but had it not been restored last night, we’d have been taking our newly bought perishables to a friend’s house first thing this morning and getting hot showers at her place. Thankfully, we gained power back, a small blessing in the grand scheme of things. Compared to a number of others, our small inconvenience was just that, very small.
Though I grew up in the land of earthquakes and wildfires known as Southern California, I was and still am the daughter of a Marine, which meant I spent the first eleven years of my childhood moving from place to place. As a result, I have been a witness (albeit a very young one) to a few other kinds of natural disasters. In Okinawa, we had a hurricane or two hit the base we lived on. In Oklahoma, my father witnessed a funnel cloud touch down near our home while we were corralled in the storm shelter below. And of course, I have lived through many, many storms both literal and figurative.
After all, they are a part of life.
Willa Cather said it best when she wrote “There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm.”
It’s what happens after the storm that defines the story. Some choose to sit and wallow in their own misery while others chose to press on and let it strengthen them. They rebuild, they adapt, they overcome. Others, who know the power of the storm from previous experiences, lend a helping hand to those that are weathering it for the first time. No matter what, the story is written. The story continues. It’s all part of the magic.
The damage done from this storm is still being assessed. There may be more accounts of lives that were lost and injuries sustained, and definitely more stories of how others were helped as a result. It’s all, of course, part of the story that is being written. It’s all part of the magic of community and the nicety of the place I call home.
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And as always, #writeyourownstory