I've been kind of keeping up with the weather on this blog, so I feel like I can legitimately post about Hurricane Katrina. I feel like I need to turn off the news, but I just can't. I feel like I can't help, but I can watch.
It's a little eerie and personal for me, because sweet husband and I almost moved to New Orleans for school. Most of the time when you make a big decision like that you never get to know what might have happened if you had made the other choice. It's really unusual that you get this kind of confirmation from the universe that you chose well.
And even though we ultimately decided not to move there, there are parts of New Orleans that are completely amazing that will probably never be the same again. When we were there someone told us that, because of erosion, we all needed to enjoy New Orleans while it was there because, basically, it was gradually being reclaimed by the ocean--too true!
Then there are aspects of New Orleans that are horrible. I've just started to hear the media take notice of the fact that the people who are left are poor or old or sick, and mostly black. The people who probably were in the worst parts of the city, the people who really needed to get out, were the ones that just couldn't. Now, I'm a big girl (most days) and I realize that economic and race and class distinctions will always matter. But I think it's harder for me to take when people are dying in large numbers based on those distinctions, here in the United States, in a place that I've been and know and enjoyed.
And then there's the storm itself. Of course, living in Kansas, most of my experiences have been with tornadoes, but--from the time I was very little--I can remember loving storms. A summer thunderstorm was an excuse to go stand on the porch and watch and maybe (if mom wasn't watching) duck out for a "shower" in the rain. One time during a tornado warning I can remember standing at the door to my uncle's basement just watching it--wide-eyed at the electricity in the air, at the absolute power--while my cousins cried because they were afraid. It can be completely devastating (and it's also a horrible cliche) but the power of nature is...awesome...humbling...incredible. And no matter how much we learn and predict, it's unstoppable.
Wanting to learn more about hurricane's (being, as I said, a Kansas girl and woefully ignorant) I did some research on how hurricanes are formed. I found a pretty good animation here that generally explains them if anyone else wants to check it out.