It has been two weeks since I watched water creep up my yard as Harvey relentlessly dropped water on my city. The water rose quickly; my street went from drive-able to kayak-able in a matter of hours. Once my husband & I faced the prospect of water getting in the house the first things that went upstairs were:
- our family photo albums
- the computer & backup –aka the home of all the photos*
- a few sentimental items like a yardstick from my Grandpa's old store that bears my family name
My husband smiled at me as I carried up the box of our family's yearly photobooks. He commented that he always knew, in the face of impending disaster, I would make sure the photos were safe. He knows me well.
The water never made it to our doorway. In fact, as quickly as it rose, it stalled, and ultimately fell, in a timely manner. I am acutely aware of how lucky we are.
Truly I was filled with gratitude when the sun came out, golden rays glistening behind trees and bouncing off our damp street. But my heart was still heavy. I knew that countless more were facing very different realities at the exact same moment–and many still are. Families have been displaced, people have lost things that are irreplaceable, some have lost all their possessions, and some have tragically lost loved ones. I am heartbroken.
I've also been brought to tears by the abundance of helpers at every turn. People from all over the city, all over the state, all over the country came out to risk their lives for others. Churches & businesses opened their doors to those in need of shelter. Strangers came together to tear out flooring, drywall, and cabinets of flooded homes. Volunteers and donations had to be redirected or turned away because they came in droves.
Suddenly blog posts, my photography, and exciting business plans all seemed inconsequential in the shadow of Harvey. If it weren't for two meetings with two wonderful business women this past week, I don't think I would have bothered to bring my computer back downstairs. But now here I sit, I'm back at my computer, new photos edited, new blog post on my screen, & a new task list written.
I know there is more work to be done in the wake of Harvey and now Irma; I know that I'm called to be a part of that help. I will continue to be part of the help. I also finally realize that hesitating to move forward, serves no one. I'm ready to get back to work, and I am filled with hope for the future.
*(including all my client's photos! I've got your back!)