Thursday, November 15, 2012

Catastrophe

Have you ever lived through a hurricane? If not, be thankful! I have lived through three including Katrina and Rita in Houston.

A hurricane is unnerving. First of all you know it is coming for days so you prepare. Schools shut down businesses shut down and communities check on each other. You tie up or bring in anything and everything that is loose outside lest it become a projectile and injure someone or break something.

Then you wait and wait. The winds and rain start ahead of the storm and when the hurricane finally comes it is hours upon hours of tornadic winds. You stay inside and listen...the power generally shuts off to lessen the likelihood of fires when things fall on transformers. So you sit there in the middle of your house in the dark holding right to your loved ones and you pray. You pray for lives to be spared knowing property can be replaced. It is terrifying and humbling.

When it is over you go outside and you see the damage. The devastation. The utter destruction and you marvel at the power of God.

Several weeks ago, Sandy hit the east coast. I spoke to a friend of mine. He talked about huddling under a staircase in his house with his wife and son for 18 hours while mother nature destroyed everything in her path.

As we were talking he started telling me of the changes to the channel. The rocky bluffs were gone. Just gone. The topography of the inlets is completely changed. There is a river way that had dried up century ago that the hurricane reopened.

As I heard him speak I got to thinking. Nature cleanses the earth with catastrophe. Hurricanes reshape the land and shores....don't believe me? Google Louisiana shoreline post Katrina. A very large part of the state was reclaimed by the Gulf of Mexico.

Fires cleanse a forest. They remove old trees so that the forest can grow and evolve. The dead brush is removed and the ashes nourish the land for future growth. The animals take cover and the slowly return. The rain and snow soothe the charred earth and life begins anew.

As I was thinking about this, I was thinking about me. Losing Robert was a catastrophic event for me. He was gone in an instant. The aftermath has been years and years of pain tempered with growth. My life will never ever be the same as it was on the morning of March 30, 2008. But I am starting to see new growth in me. I am starting to see how things have changed and how I would not have many things in my life that I do have today if that catastrophic event had not happened.

I am starting to see the positive, the life and the joy. While I still miss him deeply and that will never change, instead of thinking that my life ended on that Sunday morning, I see that that morning was a catastrophe. But that catastrophe is a part of who I am now. It is only a part....it does not consume my world anymore.