It's been a week since the mandatory evacuation order to leave the Florida Keys for the Cat 5 storm IRMA, and I would be lying if I did not say it has been a roller coaster ride. We were in the direct path of it for so many days it was really unnerving. Life in the Cone! I am a lifelong Floridian, a business person, and most importantly a wife, so when someone you love doesn't want to leave… guess what… you hunker down. It's a personal decision and you have to respect that.
Many factors favored a good outcome. The house I live in has seen numerous hurricanes since the mid-1960s, Andrew included … it's got good bones… it's situated at nearly the highest elevation in the geographic center of the island… a whopping 11 feet above sea level, in a native plant hammock. Cisterns, solar power, generators. And though I may think what the heck, every June I go out and buy provisions to last for at least a month. That's just what you do.
Yes, there was the gamble you can't predict a monster storm. And with all the social media it's just really difficult to find a personal calm. During those hours, glued to the weather channel, I remembered my project during the early 2000’s, The Fragile Keys documentary, Pete Purdue, legendary fisherman and marine store operator in the Keys, an interview about how as a boy, he survived the Killer hurricane of 1935, that wiped out Islamorada, including scores of servicemen who were on Flagler’s railroad cars who couldn't get out and were washed to sea. He and his family and neighbors sought refuge in a school bus. As the surge water's were rising up to within inches of the roof of the bus, his grandmother announced that they all recite the Lords Prayer. And they did. And the waters went down.
Prayers work. And like those emojis you see on a live feed on Facebook, when I closed my eyes I saw persons important in my life and development. They were real faces and I’d concentrate even harder to make out their features. Compassion for others.
As I write by candlelight, there are super dark skies, free of light pollution, I can even see the stars. I want for nothing. Yes it's hot and it’s hard work cleaning up, but my pain is eased when I think of those folks down South. The Keys, The Islands. The ones who lost their jobs, their homes, perhaps their lives They have lost everything. Except they have also gained something. Their friends, families and complete strangers are coming together, helping each other out.
This photographic website provides me the opportunity for self-expression, for sharing