“It has been raining again. I have been indoors, meditating on the shortcomings of life” is the opening line of a lesser-known poem “Reforming Oneself” by American writer and attorney, Max Ehrmann. This week as it poured in Houston, seemingly without end, we stared at our electronic screens, equally transfixed and horrified by the rapidly rising waters and the destruction and upheaval wrought by the latest epic natural disaster. With Hurricane Harvey, indeed “everything is bigger in Texas.”
One could not help but notice the fortitude and forbearance of those being rescued and the quiet reassurance and resolution of the countless unsummoned volunteers who came to their aid. Some saved women, soaked and shivering, smiled bravely for the CNN cameras from the small skiffs steered by stoic souls, and the steady shower may have swept tears aside as the evacuees offered simple thanks for being alive. In the spirited words of native son, the singer B. J. Thomas, “Raindrops keep falling on my head, But that doesn’t mean my eyes will soon be turning red, Crying’s not for me, ’cause, I’m never gonna stop the rain by complaining.”
Lugging their drenched dogs, stunned children and pitifully small garbage bags, others waded through waist high dirty waters to face the unknown, suddenly bereft of cars, homes and all of the material possessions that define us. In overwhelmed shelters, harried workers still reached out to touch, hug and comfort victims left traumatised and crying by their ….