Wow… my heart is breaking right now for the folks in the Midwest. There is an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education that talks about the efforts of the University of Iowa staff and students to save their campus. I've seen then devastating videos and photos of the floods, but there was something about seeing it happen to something I could so dearly relate to – a university campus – that has broken my heart.
I know that if this type of flooding had happened in our area, the JMU community would have responded in just the same way: human chains moving books out of the library, people piling up sandbags over every possible opening, carrying furniture and equipment and supplies out of harms way. I have no doubt that the campus would be a sea of purple and gold t-shirts day and night as people rolled up their sleeves and did the heavy lifting. I know that the people at the University of Iowa did the same thing, but couldn't stop the river.
Man. Sometimes it takes something so depressing and so devastating to get through the cracks, hit us in the heart, and remind us that we are all human. It's so easy for me, in the mountains of Virginia, to turn the channel or click past disturbing stories online. It's so easy to think of it as an "it" and not as the people who are losing everything. It's so easy to put it aside and not be aware.
Well, I'm aware. My heart is awake. I wish I could be there to help dig the buildings out. I wish I could write a check to help with recovery efforts. I wish I could wave a wand to make it all go away. And I will probably pull out my checkbook and do at least something to help. But in the best possible way I know how, I am sending my energy and my love into the connected human cosmos to give support. And I'm trying to raise awareness. Maybe you can help too.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/uinews/">Flickr account showing flood and rescue efforts