In the Wake of the Storm

“After the rain, the sun will reappear. … After the pain, the joy will still be here.”

– Walt Disney Company

The last time I visited, I wrote about rain. A normal rainy day, that was, and this past week has been both the same and different, as Hurricane Harvey dumped so much rainfall over my home that every highway in Houston, the fourth-largest city in America, had to be shut down. Fortunately I don’t live within the city but an hour south—though I drive to Houston three to four days a week for work/college classes, so it is home, too—and, even though I live closer to the coast, Harvey didn’t affect me nearly as much as it did my friends north of me, and while my heart aches for all that they’ve had to go through, each one is safe and that’s all that really matters.

Here in Lake Jackson, Tropical Storm Harvey rained and whipped winds around for days, with intermittent periods without rain. My street—or, I should say, Dylan’s parents’ street—doesn’t really flood at all, so we were fortunate to not be trapped in the house—seven people and six dogs—though there wasn’t much of anywhere to go, anyway. We fared well, and I made a quick trip to my house in Angleton yesterday to find it just as I left it (albeit with an excessive amount of lovebugs in my bathroom, and I still have no idea how they got in, but, you know, not exactly a problem).

But today is the first day in a week that I’ve woken up to blue skies and sunshine, and it is a beautiful and very welcome change. The upside to all the rain, too, is that it ushered in cooler weather, and the humidity is down, and a breeze waves the tree branches at me as if in greeting. The air is full of birdsong and cicadas, so it actually feels like the transition from summer to fall, and the dogs can lay out and soak up the sunshine again.

I’ve been having a lot of issues lately with the faith I was raised in, and I’m not going to go into that, but I do think of the story of Noah’s ark now, and how at the end of the flood that covered the world, there was a rainbow. I don’t see any rainbows out now, though admittedly I haven’t stepped out of the shade far enough to look for one, but this beautiful day is more than enough to make me believe that—Biblical connotations aside—after every storm in every life, there will come a new day.

A friend in Houston has even told me that “Everything is great over here! The sun is even shining!!” so, while I know that everything is not perfect there and probably won’t be for a long time to come, I want to be cautiously hopeful. I’ve seen so many reports of Houstonians, and others from all over the country, banding together in the wake of this natural disaster, and that’s even more beautiful than this day. I hope they can be cautiously hopeful and optimistic, too. Because today is a new day, and another is on its way.