Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Morning After, Counting Blessings

   This morning we opened our weary eyes to light winds stirring up fresh air, deep blue and grey skies, and well watered fields. Another storm is moving in, but it's gentle. Overflowing the banks of our pond as if with tears. The thunder is rolling smoothly today, a sad but soothing backdrop to this new reality.

   The animals are calm and safe. I am stunned by how normal everything looks, despite how it feels. Last night's tornado swept just past the edge of our farm and touched down across the road. Our house, incredibly, is unharmed by the past two days of severe weather. This time, not even a shingle slipped out of place.

   We are in tact physically, but our true home, our hearts, are hurting deeply. Aching because so many in Oklahoma have lost everything. So much life is gone. And so many of our loved ones are in shock from close calls that can barely be understood or articulated. I cannot peel away from updates from family and friends, and proceeding with a normal day feels bizarre. It will be a long, long time before thousands are able to enjoy normalcy again. Never, for some.

   Storm season is part of life here in Oklahoma, and everyone has a story. So sometimes we joke about it; sometimes it's exciting. Then sometimes we are struck down by it and reminded of the danger. Unfortunately most of us have by now dealt with the most extreme tornadoes, especially the folks in Moore, my husband's home town.  Still, Oklahoma enjoys a civic intimacy here that I know is special. Something contracts us tightly, like a great loving muscle, when tragedy strikes. We are drawn closely together to help each other and to share each other's pain.

   Please keep Oklahoma in your prayers for a long time. The shock will begin to wear off in a few days and those affected by this week's devastation will need grace, strength and miracles. As I write this the thunder is rolling more and more. I cry spontaneously and can barely breathe, thinking of how many people are mourning the worst, most unspeakable losses.

   We have so much here for which to be deeply, forever grateful.

   Love your people fiercely, as I know you do!

"There's a long road ahead. 
  In some cases there will be enormous grief 
  that has to be absorbed.
  But you will not travel that path alone.
  Your country will travel it with you,
  fueled by our faith in the Almighty
  and our faith in one another."
~ President Obama

  May 21, 2013


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