I just came through my first hurricane.
Thankfully, my family, my home and myself were all left unscathed. Aside from some minor inconveniences, I actually gained insight from this distressing experience.
Hurricane Matthew hit Haiti the hardest and the beginnings of this fierce storm left far too many deaths in its wake. This deeply saddens me and I can only hope that the world will stand together to help clean up this destruction. It pleasantly surprises me though, at times like this, of all the wonderful people that go out of their way to help others.
While most television and media representatives want to show the devastation of communities by this natural disaster, I want to share with you how it brought me closer to mine.
I feel so fortunate to live in a place that has incredible preparation and response to storms like these. The communities around me weren’t terribly affected by Matthew, mostly because they knew he was coming, and prepared accordingly with first world measures.
Everyone hopes that there will be someone(s) there to help them during a storm like this, and it’s a huge relief to know that most communities in this nation provide this. With rescue teams, shelters and trained professionals, most people have these emergency fallbacks and know that someone will be there for them.
Thank you to everyone who was and is there for me and my family.
I don’t know what I’d do or feel if my community didn’t have this. Most likely, I'd feel terrified, do what I could to prepare for it, endure it, all while hoping for a safe outcome.
I believe that to a certain extent, no matter where you live and how much support you have, at times like this everyone feels a little fear. The only thing you can do is hope for the best.
Gratefully, the best is exactly what happened to me and my family. We are all alive and unharmed and our home is still intact. We lost a few trees and our power went out, but that was really the worst of it. THANK YOU MATTHEW!
So, what happens when you go through something like this and you come out in one piece? Personally, I try to notice those around me and practice a little more gratitude, kindness, and compassion.
After the storm died down and the winds slowed, my family and I ventured out. We curiously walked around in our community to see how it was affected by the storm. Our dogs really needed to get outside and in all honesty, we did too.
There’s something strange about being held captive in your home and it makes a person feel grateful when they can finally just walk freely outside.
I’m an introvert and love being at home, but during the storm, it felt different because it was not my choice. I think a lot of people in my area felt this way, because as we walked, we began to see more and more neighbors doing the same.
I wasn’t expecting it, but each time I saw a familiar face, I felt a little relief that they were okay. I didn’t realize that I had so much concern for my fellow neighbors, and each person I saw made me feel a little more back to normal. Person by person, we were all coming back together to join as a community and that made me to feel more balanced in myself.
It took my first hurricane to appreciate where I live and to feel like a part of something here.
Matthew may have knocked down some trees and tried to destroy my home and my neighborhood, but he gave me a new understanding of community and what it means to me.
Tracy Bryan is an award-winning Indie author. She writes whimsical books for kids ages 4-12. She likes to tackle important and diverse topics that affect kids and their families.
Tracy just released her debut fiction picture book called Put Away Your Phone! with illustrator David Barrow. They are currently working on their next book together called Too Many Things! due to be out early 2017!