Sunday, October 22, 2017

We can’t do it alone

Joyce Sasse - Some nights are absolutely unforgettable ... like when we have to stand up to the ravages of nature. Take drought and wind and fire – moving so fast and with such fury… Those who have to face it and try to outpace it do the best they can with their equipment and strategies and prayers. Often, too, they are amazed at the way a change in the wind, a temperature drop or a splattering of moisture makes all the difference.

When I visit prairies communities, I love to take a segment of prairie sod in a small plexiglass aquarium. I usually plant a few worms and bugs in the bottom, and hide miniature plastic snakes, frogs and crickets in the litter.

I get the kids talking about how empty the prairie appears to be. We then give my collection a closer look “because Prairie people know the secret of seeing with special eyes”. We tip the sod onto a tray. We analyze the variety of plants and discuss how some hold the moisture, others protect from wind and frost, and others offer nutrients. The litter gives shelter. The worms help the roots breathe. None could survive on its own. Neither can we!

Prairie folk help each other in similar ways. We need the organizers and “doers”, those whose trucks carry the right kind of equipment for each emergency, and those who carry drinking water, make coffee and prepare sandwiches for the workers. Some are good with the communications equipment, while quieter ones watch for who needs a gentle word or a warm touch.

From out of the smoke and ashes, and in the aftermath, as our spirits shed the nightmares and tensions, we realize how we need to be there for each other. Together our strength is affirmed. It’s this that readies us so we are able to move forward and face another day with hope and expectation.

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