As the numbers roll in, the toll that Sandy has taken continues to mount. The cost of this storm, in lives lost, of homes , businesses, and infrastructure destroyed, is staggering. But seeing the devastation first-hand, not only seeing it at every turn but being unable to escape it, is something the news footage and numbers can’t convey.
The region was hit hard. There are so many pictures I could take to show the extent of the damage, but aside from my own home, I can’t bring myself to snap a single shot. I don’t want to document this destruction. Even as I see the pictures online, I see once familiar places reduced to rubble. But through it all, there is a silver lining I’ve seen more times than I can count in recent days. It’s people pulling together to help one another rebuild, and the strength of communities to rally around those most affected. Quite simply, it is hope.
I suppose times like these force many of us to stop, whether we’d planned to or not, and re-evaluate our priorities. New friendships are forged as people who might otherwise never pause to notice one another join forces to set things back to right. It’s ironic that the book I’d been writing revolved around a hurricane that involved evacuations and a moderate storm surge, and that writing has been put on the back burner by the real thing. And it’s ironic that my boat, the perpetual ‘project boat’, is in better shape than most every other boat around me. But in the wake of this storm, even as I’ve been dealing with the damage in my own house, I find my days full from morning to night, working along the water, helping to get other boats repaired. And while my writing and work on my own boat may have to take a back seat for now, I’m certain that when all is said and done, everything will rise stronger from this experience.