Early this morning I was awakened by a strong breeze on my face from a small opening in the bedroom window. Here in Oregon we have a small storm blowing in, so I got up and closed the window so that the wind wouldn’t interrupt the rest of my sleep.
I now sit in my office watching the wind grow stronger and the trees bending back and forth just outside of my window. The local news suggests that this is going to be mild so I have nothing to fear from this storm, ether for myself or my family back at the house.
Earlier today I sent an email to an acquaintance in Haiti to follow-up on some work that we are planning for the future. I didn’t even give his weather a thought, until my mind reminded me that my note didn’t show any empathy for the current conditions in Haiti. The Haitian wind is probably picking up strength and the local news is telling him to prepare for another sad day, or week, or month in Haiti.
He has endured an earthquake, has watched Cholera creep closer to his family and now is preparing for the possibility of Tomas reaching his home. So, I sent another email wishing him good luck and safety.
What is interesting to me is that just 1-year ago I wouldn’t have given much thought to a storm in the Atlantic, other than a passing concern from a television news report. Today I know people there, and it has become more personal. I am now attempting to do something to help their future and I am looking to find some common ground.
We live in earthquake country here in western Oregon, so I suppose that I have something in common with the people of Haiti. We also have strong Pacific storms that blow in from the coast, just 50-miles away.
Last year we had a flu-scare, so I could say that I do have some common ground with Haiti. But that would be disingenuous.
I have a window that closes, a house with a strong foundation and a job to meet my financial needs. My common ground is not cluttered with rubble or smelling of human waste. My water comes easily, is clean and I have plenty.
I hope and pray that Tomas makes a turn away from my new friends in Haiti. I hope that the water will be cleaned and that stronger homes will be built. I hope that in some small way the people of Haiti can experience just one-hundredth of the good things that I have been blessed with.
I hope that the words Build Back Better are more than just words.