mother nature is seriously scaring me lately. i took a quick look at this photo (which i believe comes from either PA or upstate NY) and for some reason, pictured a bridge that connects my hometown to another small town across the connecticut river.
as a jew, i’ve got worrying programmed into my DNA - not to mention that i inherited a whole lot of paranoia and crazy from my mother (whom i love dearly, but those who know her know the above statement is true). i’ve been following the hurricane season pretty closely, especially monitoring my current home (NYC), my forever home (northampton, mass) and my former home (saratoga springs, NY). thankfully, none of these three places have been hit too hard by all the rain the northeast has been getting lately, but somehow, i’ve found myself profoundly affected by the photos and videos i’ve seen of the flooding upstate, in vermont, in pennsylvania. entire towns, washed away. entire lives, gone.
i’m incredibly close to my family, and i’ve always had this weird irrational fear that something terrible is going to happen to them. again, i know the floods haven’t touched anyone i know personally - but i can’t help but be a bit freaked out by all these natural disasters. what if i woke up one day and my entire hometown had been washed away by the rushing waters of the connecticut river? what if my childhood home was dissolved by muddy waters? the thought paralyzes me slightly.
photos like the one above seriously freak me out - but even more powerful than that fear is a sadness, an empathy for those who have actually lost their homes and belongings in the last few weeks. belongings are just that - belongings. they’re just things, but i think most of us would admit our things mean a lot to us. it’s the blanket you slept with all throughout childhood, the family photos you took from your mother’s home when she passed away, the toy ponies that provided you with hours of entertainment as a kid. it’s the lunchbox your son brought to school on his first day of kindergarten, the letters your grandfather wrote during world war II. many of our things aren’t just things, they’re physical representations of our memories. to think that so many have lost all of their teddy bears, their photo albums, their dogeared children’s books…it breaks my heart.
i know a lot of these disasters are directly correlated to how we’re treating our planet (which is not very well), but here’s hoping that the folks devastated by the flood waters get a little respite sometime soon, and that they’re able to rebuild, even if it’s from the complete bottom up.
to volunteer your time in vermont, click here. for other ways to help, or for a list of places to donate, click here.