We Are But Fragile

Sandy was accurately predicted to be a mega Superstorm days ahead of its arrival.  Meteorologists used satellites, computer models, weather balloons, and other instruments to measure the behavior of weather patterns, and ocean and atmospheric conditions. Flooding and widespread power loss was expected. What no one could have predicted was the complete devastation and tragic loss of human life and human suffering. It is heart-wrenching to watch from a distance and beyond my own imaginings.

If gives me pause to see that is possible for people to put aside greed, partisan politics, and ordinary people become heroes. Consider the nurses from the NYU Hospital who evacuated twenty babies from the NICU down nine flights in total darkness with monitors, IVs, and tubes, holding the babes close to them so as not to lose critical warmth. Or, what about those who later did have power, who opened their homes so people could charge their cell phones? And, of course, Obama and Christie are great pals now.

I will admit that I have at times felt a certain disconnect watching this disaster from a distance. In sunny California I can only relate to the inevitable “Big One” that is long overdue. Knock on wood. I grew up practicing emergency earthquake drills in school. Now and before Sandy, I have debated whether or not I should get the three-day emergency supply kit. I usually decide my money would be better spent on something more urgent.

When my husband was in grad school, he had a friend in his department who invited us to their “Harvest Festival.” I had never been to anything like that before. What could that be? Well, it was a true harvesting of about every vegetable known to man, in every shade and color. I thought these guys were prepared for any emergency. They had a healthy garden with fruit trees, vegetables that sat on a whole acre. I’m sure if I had access to those vegetables on a daily basis, I might be vegetarian. I’m sure I would be a lot healthier.  They also had a whole basement full of canned and dried goods that would last them for at least a year.

But my point is that this garden, for all their hard work and planning, certainly would not have helped them in a storm like Sandy. There is no foolproof disaster plan. A disaster like this is our big reminder that we are but fragile. We certainly can attempt to prepare for a disaster, but in the end, I think we still really need each other to pull through. I hope in the coming days, weeks, and months that this will not be forgotten.

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15 thoughts on “We Are But Fragile

  1. I feel disconnected too with all that has happened since Singapore has so far been safe from natural disasters. When I realised so many of the bloggers I’ve befriended/gotten to know were caught in the middle of Sandy, I was thinking the exact same thing – that we are but fragile. I was thinking, if they’d never mentioned that the post I was looking at was the first they’ve uploaded since Sandy, I never would’ve known. They could’ve gotten hurt or worse and I’d never know. I would’ve just thought they were busy or had nothing to blog about or got tired of blogging. And I find all this quite sad somehow. 😦

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    1. I’m sure many bloggers were affected, and you’re right, we may not know unless we heard from them personally. I can only hope they’re ok. I know it will take a long while for things to get back to normal in the areas hit, and that difficult days are ahead. I wish I could do more.

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      1. Glad to hear you’re safe. That must have been frightening. Me, I just watched it all on the TV from a distance. But, my heart goes out to people dealing with this crisis and its aftermath.

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  2. Great post. NY has been on my mind a lot this week. I think what will pull them through is their unique spirit and ability to pull together in the face of disaster. But it’s heartbreaking nonetheless to know that people lost their homes, their towns and their lives in some cases.

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    1. It’s astonishing to me that one day everything is in place, and the next day, completely destroyed! We are at the whim of nature and she is so powerful. The only positive is people pulling together and New Yorkers are strong. I think it will take a while for things to get back to normal, whatever that is.

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  3. Growing up in the Midwest I know of people who have lost their homes in floods and tornadoes, but I’ve been so very fortunate in that I’ve never personally experienced anything like what all those poor folks are going through… I can’t even imagine it. So awful… I can’t even get my mind around it all. Very, very sad.

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    1. Hey, SIG! Good to hear from you. I know I can’t imagine it either. The recovery period may be lengthy, too. It’s just amazing to me how one day everything is normal, and the next, complete destruction. I also feel very lucky!

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  4. “We are but fragile.” A beautiful summation and a very touching post. It reminds me of Sting’s song “Fragile.”

    So many lives and homes and possessions just gone. Life is so fleeting, may we all enjoy and appreciate it to its fullest.

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