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

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