Everything happens for a reason, or so they say. I always assumed that saying was just a phrase thrown around like a dish towel in situations when nothing else seemed to fit. I stand corrected. The past two weeks have been an interwoven blanket of confusion sewn tightly with the thread of random ridiculousness. Fortunate for me, my days provide me with enough nonsense mixed with a subtle lack of common sense to fill my column. Otherwise, I suppose I would have very little to say.
Coming off of a very strange case of poison oak, at times I believed maybe it had spread to my brain, but no, it is all real as life itself. As I watch helplessly as Isaac approaches my family, my hometown and my down trodden home state of Mississippi, I spiraled down a path of pity and fear.
Only a category one is repeated by coworkers, friends and news anchors. My mind only hears seven years to the day of Katrina, a storm that forever changed my life. Flashbacks of terror, turmoil and uncertainty paralyzed me. No one could understand, not even me. Glued to the geographically challenged Weather Channel, focus and productivity were as far away as my hometown.
Constant communications with my family made the distance all too real. Isaac’s winds raced through my roots with no less force than the thoughts and memories of Katrina that filled my mind as sleep became an inconvenience. It’s only a category one. Those words are meaningless to a displaced Mississippi girl who knows that winds mixed with water, mixed with the mass media’s inability to differentiate my home town from a parish in New Orleans, equals destruction and chaos regardless of category. It is my family, my memories, my Mississippi.
Falling further and further into an abyss of fear and uncertainty, Isaac sends a message. It wasn’t email, letter or text, but a swift wind through Beaufort that delivered the tiniest of reminder. Mother Nature took a blow hundreds of miles away that left two orphans in my path.
Raised in an area where I had more animals than friends, more nature than neighbors I lack the ability to turn away from any suffering creature, great or small. Blessed with a heart and cursed with an over active impulse, I scooped up two badly bruised, ant covered, infant squirrels.
Walking into a dinner party, gala or overtly obvious gathering of importance, I lack any semblance of confidence. Proper dinner forks, small talk and political banter leave me bored and often in search of an elegant exit; however, let Mother Nature request my attendance and I will rise to the occasion. Two tiny orphans with no voice, no property and certainly no chance lay in my hands.
Years raising animals of all kinds, all deformities, all personalities and sizes were no match for this delicate dilemma. A sudden distraction from the destruction barreling towards my family pity turned proactive. No time for news, Cantore would have to wait. Luckily there are angels for even the smallest of souls.
Within moments, women of the not so wild came to my assistance. Power of experience, knowledge and the purest form of female intuition surrounded the victims of just a category one.
Isaac may have domain over my home state, my family but not here not now. These two squirrels will live. Jokes originate from those who have a way with the more civilized of creations. Why would anyone, especially several people stop their daily tasks to devote seemingly worthless effort into two tiny members of an overly populated species? Life is life is life, is it not?
Limp and fragile and highly dependent on the kindness of strangers, all the energy otherwise devoted to a storm I can’t control in an area I can’t reach turns toward the survival of Mother Nature’s delivery. Women, some I knew, some I didn’t gave no moment’s hesitation to the mission at hand. It was an orchestra of determination covered in a halo of hope.
After a dim diagnosis and affirmation of an untimely end, the otherwise unconnected lives of ordinary souls, tied together only by the winds of Isaac and the need to nurture, two of the tiniest of creatures were doused in care and nursed to survival.
Isaac blew through my hometown, my family and my state with repairable damage and recoverable loss. Winds reaching as far as Beaufort resulted in a reminder that even the wild requires a hand just as much as a hand requires the wild. Mother Nature spared my family, my friends and all that is familiar and I did my best to return the favor. Everything happens for a reason, after all.