Squint And You’ll See The Silver Lining

The deer that live behind us knew to come to where they’d always found food at our neighbors.

Irma has moved on. Leaving a large percentage of Florida and other states without power and shortages of gas, water and food. Water damage and fallen trees have made some homes uninhabitable.

The emotional toll is worse. People have died. Those who lost everything must start over.

Some folks refused to leave their homes. In the Keys, they’re not sure how many people survived, but they’re a hearty bunch down there, having bettered storms such as Donna, Andrew and now Irma.

That’s the silver lining.

When people refuse to play victim and won’t fold under adverse circumstances. they can face challenges with hope. Together. The German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche wrote in his book, Twilight of the Idols, “What does not kill me makes me stronger.” Crisis grows us. Even if we’re not aware of it.

We experienced a small amount of inconvenience and damage. Power was out for twelve hours. Water damage in three rooms. In light of what many experienced, we couldn’t complain. The heat and humidity and noise from the wind and rain were uncomfortable at best.

The pleasant surprise came after the hurricane.

Since neither John nor I are great planners, we hadn’t gotten sand bags to build a flood barrier to our back porch. The last minute, John bought large bags of mulch and dirt to use in place of sand. They worked to keep water off the porch.

After the winds and rain had passed, we cleaned up. All the branches and yard waste that blew off our trees were bagged and set on the road.

Then there were those bags.

We’ve needed to put fresh mulch on our plants for some time. Parts of our yard had cratered from rain washing away dirt. Holes needed to be filled.

What we hadn’t taken time to buy or do before was now available for us to use. Hadn’t even thought that one through.

We’ve also had these bushes in our front yard that have ridiculously long, tenacious roots that I’ve wanted to pull out for the past two years. The ground was never forgiving enough to let go of the roots. In their behalf, the roots put up a heck of a fight.

With the ground super saturated, I thought I’d give it a shot.

Even with really damp ground, it was a battle. Prying those bushes out of the ground took a team effort. Alone I could barely get the shovel in far enough to loosen their grip. Four of us worked together and managed to pull those resistant things from the ground.

That’s what we’re seeing with clean-up from Irma and Harvey. Team efforts. People not affected reaching out to help those that were. Alone we falter. Feel overwhelmed. It’s easier to give up when no one helps.

The silver lining is how crisis gets our eyes off our minutia to see the greater need of others.

This is our story now. Neighbors reaching out to help neighbors. Strangers sacrificing to help those in need. This isn’t political or philosophical. It’s need. The God who made each of us in His image gives us grace to reach out to those less fortunate.

Maybe what doesn’t kill us makes us kinder.

9 responses to “Squint And You’ll See The Silver Lining”

  1. I love that last line!!!


    1. Maybe make a T-shirt with it?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Sweet lady with a shovel….you know your kiddos are gonna use that pic of you pulling at those roots one day – perhaps for the slide show celebrating the 70 years of tenacious living of their momma? Good article/ blog, by the way!


    1. Yes, you’re right. John got those as i was yanking and pulling. I’d no idea any plant could be that stubborn. I may regret it, but it also made me realize how much I needed the others to do what seemed to be so easy. Love you, Lar. You are a gem of a man.


  3. Sounds like y’all coming together well over there. Like Londons Blitz spirit.


    1. We are coming together, and I’m so grateful, but what’s London’s Blitz spirit? Think of me as an ignorant Yank.


      1. Ahh. Blitz spirit refers to the people of London digging their heels in against all odds and coming together during the World War II bombing campaigns across London. It’s still very strong feeling today. Such as the day after the riots a few years back, people from all over came wielding brooms and bin bags to help clean up. Similar with the more recent London Bridge attacks.

        People sometimes mistake London spirit for being cold and unemotional. Most cockneys will tell you it’s stubborn defiance, whatever the issue.

        Amusing related link with some tweets to sum up the feeling from London. http://metro.co.uk/2017/06/05/londoners-get-keepcalmandcarryon-trending-in-show-of-defiant-blitz-spirit-6685350/


      2. Also related I saw this the other day: https://notthatyouaskedit.wordpress.com/2017/08/24/5-reasons-why-hurricane-harvey-shouldnt-mess-with-texas/

        Again, reminds me a lot of Londons defiant Blitz spirit. 🙂


  4. Read those–appreciate Texas humor (my dad was a Texan!) and the tenacity of Brits when they’re backed into a corner. You’re right–folks this side of the pond often have a view of y’all being a tad reserved and cool. But your passion is deep and wide, and your commitment to one another and home is admirable. Thanks for the history lesson. I’ve several Brits as friends and have come to value their dry humor and unique insights.


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