Memories of the 1965 Typhoon Kompasu came rushing back as I watched Mother Nature’s disaster unfolding in New York and New Jersey. I remember clinging to a mattress, huddled with my young sons, and fearing this was the end for us all. It was said that “the storms eye was over Nago on Okinawa” . . . “with sustained winds of 90 miles per hour”. The category 2 typhoon was heading our way; an island that was barely 15 miles wide and about 45 miles long. The anxiety I felt was indescribable! I had no knowledge of hurricanes or typhoons, being brought up in land-locked Colorado. That was an education in Mother Nature’s fury that I never wanted to experience again.
It’s one thing to be in the midst of a catastrophic event like Hurricane Sandy, but quite another when the storm has passed. I don’t think anyone can ever be prepared for the aftermath. Seeing boats tossed onto highways, buildings reduced to rubble and landmarks moved hundreds if not thousands of feet in a helter skelter way is surreal. There are moments, and many of them, when you feel you are in a dream; that what you are seeing is not real. Unfortunately the dream quickly turns to reality.
Recovering from disasters is simply not an overnight fix … people’s lives are shattered, many are displaced, homes and businesses have to be repaired or rebuilt, and no matter where these disasters occur or who is affected, resources have a way of being tangled up at the onset.
Our hospitality family wishes to extend our sympathy to those who were hurt or lost loved ones, and our hearts go out to all whose lives and livelihood were affected by Hurricane Sandy. A big thank you, also, to the many heroes in this tragedy helping to lighten the load and providing a shoulder to lean on when it is needed most.
Rebuilding is a mammoth task, even if it is just replacing a few grains of sand, but the human spirit is resilient, and those affected will persevere . . . . “out of the ashes rose the Phoenix” and all will be looking for that rainbow now that the storm has passed!
The Phoenix represents many things: the city of Atlanta’s rebirth from destruction; the Amerian Chemical Society’s logo as a symbolism for change; representation of a new Europe with Belgium’s coin of Peace (depicted in the photo, Wikimedia image) and no doubt a renewed spirit in the rebuilding of those areas suffering destruction from Hurricane Sandy.