The news report showed a woman picking through the rubble that had been her home before the storms rolled through. My heart went out to her, but she was safe and unhurt and her family was safe and unhurt. I struggled to understand why she would be picking through stuff.
A storm blew through my own community not too long after I witnessed the scene on the television. A super tornado outbreak occurred on April 27, 2011 resulted in 11 tornadoes in one day in the state of Alabama. We were spared direct damage from a tornado, but a funnel cloud took its toll. Three large trees were uprooted and deposited on our house.
Each day of clean up brought us a little closer to getting it all cleaned off. Volunteers came from all around to help pull the trees from our home. Each piece of the mess caused my heart to cringe a little as the volunteers stomped on my plants.
I tried joking with one of the volunteers about how I had yet to complain about my flowers being destroyed. His gruff voice was more crushing to me than the storms had been. “We are in recovery. Your plants are not important.” He left to go pick up another piece of equipment and while he was gone, I dug up all the plants around where they had been working and would working.
As I dug up and transplanted them, the image of the woman wading through the rubble of her home flashed in my mind. I suddenly understood her mission. She needed a connection to normal. We all need that piece of normal when tragedy strikes. That woman may have been looking for a photo or a special memento. I had my plants. My husband put his back to cleaning. We each deal in our own way.
We all have to accept and try to understand that what is important to me in a crisis may not even make sense to you. Understanding is not important. Acceptance is. Choose to recognize that we all have a need for an anchor in the storm – something unique that holds us down while the winds swirl around us.
Do you have an anchor?