Sometimes, life just happens. It just knocks on your door, shakes your floorboards, and rains on your parade... then shuts off your lights, invades your computer, and empties your refrigerator.
That, my friends, is a quick synopsis of "Life" for those of us in Southern New England over the last two weeks.
It all started with an earthquake. Then a hurricane. Then toppled trees, flooded streams, and power failures. Then the fun started.
Troubled Waters and Line Workers
After a week without power and water, an unplanned trip to stay with my siblings, delayed school openings for my three younger children, and an overflowing compost pile with a direct path to my thawed freezer and refrigerator, it is time to get back to normal life. I feel so lucky that we had no damage to our property and that my family is safe. I feel so sad, though, for all of those in the path of the storm who are still suffering from the flooding and terrible surge of the sea. The following prayer flags are for them.
Lost Threads is a prayer flag for Ann Brauer and all other artists who lost their studios. How sad would it be to see your work space floating down the street in a flash flood? That is just what happened to Ann. My prayer is that her new space will be dry, inspiring, and fulfilling.
Power and Light
I've heard that there are still, 10 days post storm, more than 300 customers in Connecticut without power. For us, that meant we had no water or cooking facilities, either. I pray that the power comes on and that life can resume for those people as soon as possible. The six flowers on the flag are for the six days our neighborhood was in the dark.
Where would we be without our neighbors? This is a prayer of thanks for our community, which opened its doors and its arms wide to all in need. Our entire town and three surrounding communities had no power for more than 24 hours. When nearly 100,000 people can't shower, cook normally, communicate, or even leave their homes because of hundreds of toppled trees and downed wires, we all pitch in. Thank you for sharing hot showers, freezer space, and dinners with those in need. Thank you for powering up your personal chain saws and clearing the streets near your homes. Thank you for acting like a community.
Troubled Waters and Line Workers
As we drove home on Saturday afternoon from our unplanned visit to Northern Vermont, we were astounded by the amount of damage we saw at the riverbeds and creeks. The scenic covered bridges that were washed away will never be replaced. Whole towns are cut off from the outside world, both by washed out roads and damaged electric wires. I pray that they are made whole, and that the waters recede quickly.
Lastly, the most fragile flag of all says "many thanks" to the line workers who came to our rescue. This flag is made entirely of paper and tea bags... fragile indeed. Fifteen trucks were parked at a local motel this week where workers from all over New England stayed between shifts. They helped us, and I want to extend a very heart felt "thanks" for getting the job done. Our lives are as fragile as the paper of this flag, and they have helped return our frayed nerves to normal.
These flags were made in less than an hour, using paper and lace that I had on hand. When today's rain stops, they will be hung outside so their prayers of thanks, hope, and comfort can join the prayers of others on the wind.