How sad it is to hear of the destruction from hurricane Sandy. The loss of life and the enormity of the storm—said to have been twice the size of Texas—is almost too large to contemplate. So too are the effects its aftermath is surely having on those in its path.
In order to get our minds around the hugeness of calamity, we tend to focus on the single stories. Stories such as the one from Governor Christie, who talks about his sorrow over the destruction of the New Jersey pier, which held for him so many childhood memories.
Place can hold the heart still in time. But when that place is gone, is part of our heart then stilled forever?
What place do you write from, long since knocked away by wind and waves. Is it the place itself, or what you take from it, that matters?
When I set out to answer that question for myself, I found an answer as to how I can help…
There was a mysterious little library in the beach town where my grandmother lived when I was small. A lone, tiny building from the 1800s, rickety and spent, it stood on sand like the house made of sticks in The Three Little Pigs.
The library’s presence seemed impossible, hovering beyond the general store and gas pumps, its back against the bay. Sad fronted, dire even, the big bad wolf in the form of sea winds had already taken its huffs and puffs. The place was about to splinter down.
It took some courage to mount the steps.
Inside was dim, with floor to ceiling shelves. Beyond the puny walls the waves on the bay lip-lipped.
But then the little library became a cave, a den, a lair, where smallness disappeared.
I’d opened a book.