I was married in Oklahoma, 30 minutes away from where the tornado ripped through people's lives Monday. I know people who no longer have a home, and are missing precious memories. I also know so many people who are volunteering their services, money and time. I am overwhelmed by the love and support. That happens a lot as of late, but maybe it is because this is such a stark contrast to so much of the ugliness that is seen throughout the world.
I've been thinking a lot about tornadoes this week. When you live in Tornado Alley you gear up for the storms each year. There are drills at school and at home. Sirens are tested weekly. Storm clouds are watched carefully, both on the television and in the sky. Even as a small child I knew the most structurally sound place in each house we lived. I knew that even if it seemed illogical, a ditch outside was safer than inside a car if a tornado came barreling down the road (Disclaimer: This is not official advice on the matter... if you are in a tornado and get out of the car and a cow ends up landing on you and killing you, your family cannot in fact sue me... especially because as a perpetual college student I have so much money...).
When a tornado does happen, as devastating as it can be, you pick up the pieces and move forward. Buildings are rebuilt or forgotten, new memories are made to help ease the physical proof of lost ones, and it is awe inspiring to see just how kind humans can be.
But what about those metaphorical tornadoes? Those events that go ripping through our lives, leaving us feeling vulnerable and robbing us of happy memories that were never really ours...
That is one of those things I am still figuring out... because some days it seems like I am past those tornados, and others?
It seems as if I am staring down the day after.