Reflection: The sky and earth in crooked bend

Google Crisis Map

Google Crisis Map

Google Crisis Map

After the Oklahoma tornado, I watched, read, listened, as the story was still brewing. The cameras panned moments just after winds slowed, to capture the spread of people’s lives scattered for yards, the voices of reporters, victims in disbelief as they stumbled over words. I sat and listened carefully, thoughtfully. I called my mother, talked with my husband, watched my children as they slept last night.

I reflected on how the earth knows no bounds, how the wind can drape a wall of dark and debris, drop its spinning breath among the soil and structure, and how as humans we are present in that narrative. We live among weather, among flood, fire, hurricane, blizzard, tsunami, drought, heavy rain, tornado. In extreme weather conditions, we are often reminded how vulnerable we are as humans on this earth.

My family was reminded of that recently when last year after a series of severe storms and wind, the tree in our front yard fell on our roof. I was home alone and as water poured into the house, I ran to seek safety holding my then newborn baby of two weeks in my arms. It was like nothing I had ever experienced, it all happened so fast. We were somewhat helpless as the winds were still violently stirring outside, but I worried that tree would collapse on us inside. We had nowhere to go. We were lucky, blessed, our house tattered but not broken, our bodies safe and intact. I am thinking about those today who are not.

2012

Last night I needed to process this most recent tragedy before speaking, before acting. And like with many of the world’s weather tragedies, I wanted to do my part to engage with efforts to support those in need. As I watched the images, read and listened to the stories, I did an exercise of collecting words to try to digest the news as it unfolded.

need
find
broken
dream
flatten
rise
intention
stay
worry
dark
light
path
water
story
word
spirit
time
bend
calm
perfect
warm
moist
air
cold
dry
scene
tower
wide
give

Writing always seems to help me think, slow down, reflect.

Words and Deeds
In these upending, vulnerable moments, many of us wonder about, pray for those affected. And like with any of our other recent weather related tragedies, many of us will contact a charity we trust working in the area that we can support. Do your research, all charities are not the same. And while I do not endorse any one charity, here are a few organizations to consider:

United Way of Central Oklahoma
DonorsChoose.org
The Red Cross (Central and Western Oklahoma region)
The Salvation Army

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Categories: Writing

2 Comments on “Reflection: The sky and earth in crooked bend”

  1. May 22, 2013 at 12:28 am #

    How fragile this human existence we live…

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