Last week was a loooong one. Four a.m. came a little too early all week long after being off for more than a week preparing and recovering from Hurricane Irma.
Despite the fatigue, I’m grateful. Thankful to have come out of the storm with a home, a car, and friends who are Ok. All I lost was a refrigerator full of groceries and four days of electricity, which was actually kind of nice because I got caught up on a lot of reading and got to read by the light of my hurricane lamp a few times. Sure, it was hot, but I was fortunate to have running water so I could stay hydrated. And there were the cold showers to cool me off.
I helped out by moving branches at my friend’s place before I left and around downtown St. Pete when I got back. I volunteered with NOMAD Art Bus while food was distributed to local folks at Child’s Park. It was nice having the distracting and seeing the kids play after such a big storm. Some of the kids showed up at the park without their parents and carried the food home on their bikes and in their arms. Nothing seemed to phase them, and they all smiled and joked.
Today I talked with a friend and she said that one of the worst things about coming back from Irma was losing her balance. She said she felt unbalanced on her bike and when she was carrying coffee in her mug at work. She kept spilling it.
I realized I’d been dropping things all week. My mail, my keys, things in the classroom. All week long, dropping things. I passed it off as fatigue, but now I think it was something more.
Despite the Tampa Bay area coming out relatively unscathed through Irma, we all went through something. And something big. Something that knocked us off equilibrium. Seeing what is happening in Puerto Rico now lets us know how bad it could have been and keeps us a little off-center.
We’ll get our equilibrium back. Puerto Rico, I’m not so sure. I hope they do too, along with all of the other places terrible natural disasters have been happening around the world (many countries in Africa, Mexico)
If you want to help Puerto Rico, a friend is hosting a GoFundMe. Please donate. She has family there, and she’ll make sure the money goes towards people who need it most.