We left Sarasota Florida on Saturday the day before Hurricane Irma hit. I had been getting the strong message to go since Monday. Finally the whole family felt the same and we made the decision to pack up and go. It is a very strange feeling to be leaving your home not knowing what you will find when you return. The main feeling of course is that everyone is safe and out of harms way. We had my grandchildren and all our animals to consider.
I said my prayers and asked the guardians of my home and yard for protection. We have enormous trees surrounding one side of the house. My beloved Jacaranda, my beautiful friend and comforter stands tall and majestic in the corner of the yard. I prayed I would find her still standing when I returned.
We drove for 17 hours and arrived at 5am In Georgia. We slept a few hours and continued on to North Carolina with 3 cars, 2 children, 4 dogs and a cat. My Petey is old and blind and I worried about how he would take all the upheaval. There is so much to this story but today this is the story I want to tell.
After we settled in our hotel in NC and the storm had passed Sarasota we asked a friend to stop by the house and see if there was any major damage. He reported that the house was ok but the tree in the corner of the yard was uprooted. I was so relieved to hear the trees had not crashed through our home and at the same time my heart sank for my beautiful friend would be no more.
As I sat there absorbing the news I gave thanks for all the divine protection we had along the way on such a strange and stressful trip and that we were all together safe and sound. I prayed for everyone who was experiencing the effects of the storm whether they chose to stay or to go. I was deeply grateful for everything.
The next day as I thought about my beautiful tree who had been my beloved companion from the day I moved into my home I thought too about all the altars I had placed beneath her and all the ceremonies, secrets and magic we had shared.
I thought about how I had taught my grandchildren to honor and love and give thanks to the trees and how much she has meant to them too.
I had been holding back my grief for her because of all the loss that people were suffering all over, such terrible unbearable losses. This was a tree, not a person or a home or any precious irreplaceable thing that people were losing in the aftermath of these terrible storms. I was aware that this was nothing in comparison and I should get on with it and continue my prayers and thankfulness and I did but then out of nowhere the tears came.
The tears were for everyone and everything and I let them flow and I let myself feel it all. I do believe that we are all walking around holding in so much. Times like these when you feel the suffering of others it merges with all the suffering and this is how we connect with everything and everyone. It wakes us and shakes us out of our own little worlds and prayers fill the heavens. We will never know the beauty that is happening above all the chaos and destruction we are experiencing here on earth. Each prayer is a saving grace for someone somewhere, this I know.
After all the praying and the crying I received a text from another friend who offered to go check my home and take pictures and send them to me. And this is my little miracle … the uprooted tree was the tree before the Jacaranda and it was so huge you couldn’t see past it.
So the first friend went no further and described the uprooted tree as the tree in the corner but just beyond that uprooted tree stood my sacred Jacaranda!
When I arrived home I made my way past the uprooted tree leaning on the house and there she was with many gigantic branches lost but still standing strong and majestic. I got my camera, started taking pictures and I asked the guardians to show me how she and my home had been protected and again I gave thanks.
This was the answer.
Still She Stands