On Saturday, I got an e-mail from my U.S. Congresswoman to remind me that hurricane season starts June 1. Can there be anyone in this state that's unaware?
I did not spend the week-end stockpiling resources during the tax-free window. I hardly have enough room for necessities; I don't have enough room to stockpile. Often I think that's a good thing.
This morning I thought about what we'd do if we faced devastation like the panhandle faces. I would probably get in the car and drive to a new place to start over. It's hard enough to recover when there's some infrastructure left. I can't imagine how one recovers from a category 5 storm, except to move someplace new.
I started counting the months that we've been recovering. We're mostly recovered in the big house, except for some of the difficult decisions about what comes back in the house from the cottage. But the cottage needs serious attention, and I am just so tired.
I'm also thinking of a poem I wrote years ago. I got the title from a powerful essay by Philip Gerard that appears in one of the very first books about how to teach creative non-fiction. My poem was written years after after Hurricane Wilma (which wreaked devestation in 2 months after Katrina, just after we had finished up our hurricane Katrina clean-up) when I found myself weeping in the car, flooded by post-hurricane despair, even though the clean-up had been done and regular life mostly restored:
What They Don’t Tell You About Hurricanes
You expected the ache in your lazy
muscles, as you hauled debris
to the curb, day after day.
You expected your insurance
agent to treat
you like a lover spurned.
You expected to curse
your bad luck,
but then feel grateful
when you met someone suffering
an even more devastating loss.
You did not expect
that months, even years afterwards
you would find yourself inexplicably
weeping in your car, parked
in a garage that overlooks
an industrial wasteland.