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Summer 2017: Weathering the Storm

Water.

It giveth and it taketh away.

It felt wrong to write about anything but water today. A pithy blog just wouldn’t come. Even as I sat in my dry house with all the creature comforts not viewing water as the enemy.

It is a fact that 71% of the earth is covered in water of some kind. I’ve felt the restorative properties of hot springs, dug my toes on the shoreline of countless beaches and been captivated by shimmering lakes with the sun dappled through majestic trees.

Water is good for the soul and good for the skin and essential to life. Which is why it’s so jarring when it turns on us.

It is impossible for one to fathom the water in Houston right now unless you are there. Yet, people keep trying. Weather people are blabbering on in an attempt to help me picture the enormity through comparisons. Like, how all this rain would look if it was snow. Or claiming this rainfall total could cover the entire continental United States but instead is concentrated in one place.

But the real story is the raw footage. Sometimes the media should give us the gift of silence and let the images speak. A week ago the people I see on my television screen were just like me, now they are victims of an historic act of nature captured forever for the world to see.

The river they drove over every day is now a monster, raging through the streets and swallowing roads. Water commands respect that way. It seeps into crevices you didn’t know existed and slowly and silently erodes foundations.

But we have another vital natural resource that you cannot wear down. Our uniquely American spirit. It is a force that rises like the tide when the country is at its lowest and carries those in need to shore on a crest of hope.

Calls for aid have been heeded and efforts bolstered by rescue organizations from all over the US. Everyday citizens offer to open their doors to strangers, donate and pray. The very water that separates countries and divides shores is uniting America once again.

No one is left stranded because of their political affiliation, race or religion. In crisis, we are blind and left to rely solely on our other senses. The sense of right and wrong, the instinct to survive and inherent good in people become our guiding forces. That focus lets us know we will triumph, rebuild and move on together and it is beautiful and good.

Water, it giveth even as it taketh away.

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Maureen Stiles

About Maureen Stiles

Maureen is the author of the blog Magnificence in the Mundane. You can read her monthly column at The Town Courier.

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