Harvey, Katrina, Celia….to some people, these are just names, but to Texans, they are storms. There are more names on this list, and there are unnamed storms that have caused flooding, fear and havoc to add to this list. They trigger most of us—we remember the fear, the out-of-control feeling of being stuck and needing to be rescued. Most of us have some memory of how it good it feels to have a hug from a neighbor, to have the random act of kindness that brought us warm food, washed our clothes, or just showed the good of humankind in the middle of a bad situation. Some of also know the pit-of-your-stomach-pain when you return to devastation or know a person who did not weather the storm.
How are we supposed to stay centered when our social media news feed is full of flooding? Prior to modern civilization, we were so connected to the earth, we were very aware of the moon cycles, walking on ground everyday (not on a treadmill, or a sidewalk, but touching the earth with our feet). This grounding helped us stay present and gave us the wisdom, or “knowing” of how to deal with weather and situations. With the advent of modern life, most of us are so hi tech, we barely know what the weather is, because we are in an office all day, never get outside much, much less walk barefooted on the ground. Those “rural” people who maintain that connection, are often made fun of and called “redneck”, or “country”, but if you are watching the news, those are the ones with boats and are there helping.
Life is marching on. Today is the first day of school for most of Texas, so my Facebook newsfeed is full of flood videos and kids holding signs saying “first day of 5th grade”. It’s quite a contrast to see devastation and excitement all at the same time. I’m not sure if that gives us perspective and makes it any better, but it’s true—one person is literally in a storm, and the next one has a new back pack and is ready for the adventure 2nd grade and a new teacher is bringing.
Boerne and Comfort got very little rain in this weekend’s storm. We are high and dry, clinic is open and life is marching on. But our hearts heart for Rockport, Port Aransas, and Houston, plus all the little ranches and towns along the way that will never make the news. HEB has mobile units in the Victoria area and has a mobile pharmacy and food trucks that can make 2500 meals at a time (if you are not from here, that is a grocery store chain that has a mobile emergency unit ready at all times).
Most of us know of charities or places to donate locally, but I found a few more that seem interesting. I am a fan of any charity that does not use a lot of their donations on admin fees, and manages to do a lot with a little.
https://riotexas.org/harvey The Methodist church makes flood buckets (5-gallon buckets filled with cleaning supplies for when you return home and need to start cleaning), plus many other services. This link has a lot of info on ways to help, donate or get involved.
http://www.texasdiaperbank.org/ Diapers take up a lot of room compared to food, so this group fills the gap for baby needs in storm situations.
http://www.portlight.org/ They help people with disabilities get resources when they have been displaced.
Let us lead with our hearts, and keep being kind to our neighbors.