I’m bleary-eyed today, having spent far too much time yesterday afternoon and last night watching The Weather Channel and the radar images of the storms and tornadoes that ravaged the Southeast.
My Birmingham family’s neighborhood was hit with 90 mph straight-line winds yesterday morning, but was spared the afternoon’s direct tornado hit. The house made it without damage, but trees and power lines are down throughout the neighborhood, with no hopes of clearing and repair until sometime next week.
When I finally turned off the television at 11:30 last night, another super-cell storm with tornado was barreling towards my friends in La Grange, Georgia. I’d spoken to them earlier in the evening to make sure they were monitoring the storm heading their way. They were already prepared, having gathered water, blankets and pillows into their “safe room,” an interior closet. When I called this morning, they reported that the storm hit about three miles away, and they were unscathed.
The storm cells hit us around 3 am with thunder, lightning, and torrents of rain, but without the wind and tornadoes that scoured so much of Alabama and Georgia. Though the noise of the storm woke me up, I made it through the night without being compelled to herd the household to the window-less basement laundry room.
In the face of yet another demonstration of nature’s power, and knowing that so many people lost their lives, their loved ones, their homes and livelihood, I am grateful to have escaped these storms’ destruction, and grateful that those I love are safe and unharmed. Earthquakes, tsunamis, tornadoes: potent reminders that every day we live on this earth is a miracle, and that not everyone is granted the gift of a long life.