On August 23, 1992, it was a calm, windless, average summer day in Miami. Yet, the undercurrent was boiling. South Florida natives were tense – eyes glued to Bryan Norcross, the television meteorologist and hurricane specialist. We were bracing for what would become the 4th most powerful storm to hit landfall in the U.S.
We took shelter at our friends’ (Bob & Hallie’s) home. Rather than jogging north as predicted, the hurricane moved South and we were directly in its path. That night, the winds and rains pounded away for hours. We moved into an interior room, the bathroom, to seek maximum protection. Six-week old Rachel was tucked safely away. Our baby girl slept soundly through the howling winds and rain. She slept through the crashing of a huge Oak tree which rattled the home and all the windows. Colicky Rachel slept better that terrifying night than she had on any night in the prior month. And then our dear sweet girl, proceeded to wail away for most of the 5 sweltering days which followed when we had no water or electricity. (I remember this clearly honey, yes I do. No revisionist history here. No Mme.)
Last night, Bob shared the video clip below. It took me back to Hurricane Andrew. The God-like power of the hurricane. The leveling of neighborhoods, the flattening of trees, the surreal destruction in its wake. It also reminded me of our friends who took us in. My friend who patiently mentored me professionally when I knew a bit “less than jack.” Our friends who graciously hosted us for dinners countless times. Our friends who invited us to join them on weekend trips to Key West and South Beach. Our friends, who without hesitation, took our young family in to protect us from the storm. Such wonderfully generous people. Such good, warmhearted people.
I was captivated by this video. The music: “Lower Your Eyelids to Die with the Sun” by M83 – a perfect match. The ingenuity of man to capture all of this on camera. The courage and recklessness of man. And the vast beauty and immensity of Mother Nature. All of it awe-inspiring to me.
Bob/Hallie, this short sojourn has taken me back to a wonderful place in time. It made me wonder if we ever appropriately said thank you…thank you always seemed so inadequate opposite all that you had given us. I’ll part tonight with a quote from Henry David Thoreau:
“The most I can do for my friend is simply be his friend.”