Alone in my room, I feel the onset of alarm. I lay my whole body across it, to muffle the earsplitting sound.
To fall asleep, I read a long article from a ten-year-old National Geographic about Hurrican Andrew in Florida. On the cover, there's a dirty, sticky, sunburned Marine holding a newly homeless toddler. The guy who wrote the article says that over the course of ten days the hurricane revealed itself, starting as just a patch of thunderstorms, then becoming a tropical storm, and eventually showing its true colors as the unstoppable hurricane it was.
A local TV reporter named Bryan Norcross stayed on the air for twenty-two hours straight, "talking his listeners through the most horrifying hours of their lives, telling them how to find safe places in houses that were blowing apart."
I don't usually last for more than a couple of pages at night, but tonight, I keep going until I finish. I have to follow the arc from panic to toil to renewal. I have to get to the end, to the part where the devastation gives way to rebirth.
I read this one sentence over and over again, until I am ready to turn out the light:
"Seven weeks after the storm, there are signs of recovery. Many trees are flush with new growth. Power has been restored. It will be a splendid place once again."
~ Kelly Corrigan, The Middle Place