While I was there, I saw first-hand the havoc Harvey wreaked. Neighborhood streets lined with 4- and 5-foot piles of debris: flooring, wallboard, toys, clothes, books, furniture…stuff our lives are made of.
I walked the streets stunned. I talked with people who didn’t think they’d be able to return to the homes they’d lived in for 40 years, to a woman staying with her daughter in another part of town who was worried about the feral cat she’d been feeding for over two years but still wouldn’t let her get close enough to turn him into a house cat, to the mail carrier whose uniform now included a respirator to cover his nose and mouth.
At some point each day, I read or watched or listened to at least some national news. Day in, day out, something from those reports tugged at my already frayed heart strings or stoked my anger and raised my already too high blood pressure.
By the time I returned to the Cape late Saturday night, I was completely wiped out – physically, emotionally, mentally exhausted. I was relieved that the flight landed a few minutes early and the bus arrived a few minutes late. I was cutting it much too close, but it was the only non-stop flight and it seemed worth the risk.
A little after 2am, I crossed the threshold of my house, dropped my bag on the kitchen floor, shed my clothes as I walked, and collapsed into my bed. I stayed there much of the next day. I didn’t want to speak, engage, move. When I woke Monday morning…Las Vegas had happened.
This whole year, in fact, has been one of so much grief, tension, violence, struggle, combativeness. It’s been so painful for so many, and it feels hard to see how or where it will end.
My heart goes out to all who have suffered, and continue to suffer - in Las Vegas, in Puerto Rico, in Florida, in Texas. My heart goes out to all who are suffering…whatever the reason, wherever they are.
In this moment, I feel compelled to reach out – to make some effort to create and fill some space with feelings of connection, compassion, kindness.
I want, maybe I need, to pause for a bit to just feel and acknowledge pain and suffering – my own and that of others.
I want to send into the universe my deep wishes for some peace, for greater ease and safety and health and well-being for all. I want to reaffirm my own commitment to work toward that end.
I invite and encourage you to do the same - in whatever way, and in whatever place you're able.
If you're on Cape Cod, I hope you'll stop by The APP Space Sunday October 15th for A DAY of Peace (originally scheduled for Sept 21). click to learn more