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Sandy left mass devastation and heart-break for many in the Northeastern United States, and the Caribbean. I pray for the victims and relatives of the people who lost their lives. I feel blessed to have merely lost power, some perishables from our freezer, Internet and phone service. I was unable to submit to this blog for a few days. I am grateful for my followers who continue to support Poemattic. So I will post a few poems at a time as I did continue to write poems in my journals. Time without electric power to watch television or listen to the radio gives one time to reflect on the mysteries of life. One example is that the hurricane that thrust 90 per hour gusts of wind on the old oak tree out in our backyard ended up with just a few broken limbs, while it killed so many others a few hundred miles away. I am so grateful we were spared from such grief, but I feel so bad for so many others that continue to face uncertainty and so much turmoil.
We will continue to hear the stories about this monstrous storm for decades to come as the New Jersey shore, Staten Island and other places in New York City begin to rebuild the landmarks and terrain that are now unrecognizable to us who have visited these places. We need to learn from this most recent storm. We suffered through Katrina and Irene and are still plagued from those storms in different ways. Engineers, architects, urban planners and scientists will need to put their heads together to figure out how to build more intelligently so that future storms do not create such destruction.
Some positives are surfacing from all of this. People are helping each other and as human beings we are learning that we really do need each other. Politicians came together as well to make sure people came first. We are a resilient bunch so we will see that this too shall pass. But let us not forget the lessons we have learned.
I want to share my conversation with the tree in my backyard that suffered a broken limb. I felt its pain because I am a part of it and it is a part of me.
Here is what I said.
Hi there. I have never given you a name. So I have decided I will give you one today. You might think I am a little nuts but who cares. I will name you Fuerte. From the first day I saw you I wondered about the people who have passed by you in awe as you grew so tall and almost majestic. I thought about all the birds that have nested on your branches. I wondered about how many squirrels have run, jumped and become acrobats on your limbs. I tried to calculate the hundreds of thousands of leaves that have fallen off your branches over the years. Today I want to thank you for being so strong. You shook but stood your ground like a brave warrior. So many of your fellow trees gave up and fell on top of poles, cars, houses and some fatally injured people. But you did not falter. I was afraid you might not be able to take the strong gusts this time around. One of your huge limbs thumped on the ground and scared the heck out of me. We are so lucky no one got hurt. So I thank you. I want you to know I respect nature and I respect you.
This is what the tree responded:
I have listened to many of your fellow human beings talk about their respect for the things of nature and the universe. What we need is harmony. Thanks for the name. But it is not about a name; it is about a way of thinking.
(Of course, this conversation took place in a dream after hours of my tossing and turning during that restless stormy night with Sandy. All I know is that Fuerte hovers and stands stoically in my backyard and I just hope that it continues to be as strong. )
- Scope of Sandy’s devastation widens, death toll spirals (sfluxe.com)
- Hurricane Sandy deaths and destruction in the USA (dearkitty1.wordpress.com)
- Childhood Staten Island memories shattered by Hurricane Sandy — Superstorm dubbed the Katrina of New York by locals (irishcentral.com)
- With 19 Dead, Staten Islanders Plead for Help (abcnews.go.com)
- Discovery Channel to air Hurricane Sandy special (mnn.com)