If you've been paying any kind of attention to the news in the US, inevitably you'll have run into the news of Hurricane Harvey unleashing its wrath on the Gulf Coast. I live in Houston, TX so while we weren't exactly hit by the hurricane, we've been dealing with the resulting tropical storm stalling right on top of us and dropping what feels like all the water from the Gulf of Mexico right on top of us with little hope of ceasing before Thursday (for perspective, that's nearly a week of straight rain).
I was lucky to have left Houston on Thursday (ironically I'd been planning to go to Corpus Christi) and moved up and away from the storm towards the DFW area instead. I'm safe, and so are my family. However, as these impromptu trips go, I feel massively under-packed to say the very least. No one expected it to be this bad, we face flooding all the time so those of us who did leave in time underprepared. My home, so intentionally created, is likely underwater. Which is still better than the folks who stayed in Houston (officials didn't evacuate us prior to the storm and it's actually near impossible to do that safely for an area as heavily populated as ours) and are caught in the water, trapped in their homes.
Needless to say, 2017 has been rough. I've hardly been able to figure out which way is up since April. I couldn't tell you where the past few months have gone. So much of my world in Houston was my sanctuary, the only spaces left untouched from the disaster that was late spring and early summer. Now that's likely gone too, just when I was visualizing an emergence from the fog.
I'm working really hard to work through feeling like The Fool caught in a cycle of the Tower>Star>Moon>Sun and back again to the Tower. My anxiety sometimes has me worried that folks will get tired of me being put the ringer, get tired of supporting me. I worry that if I don't get it together soon folks will just give up and discard me.
Not so. Not at all.
Thank Goddess for my community. As usual, in the worst of things, folks have been able to draw together. More than the images of devastation, social media is filled with folks taking the time out to help each other, reach out and make sure we're okay. I'm thankful to all of you who have reached out to check in and offer assistance and comfort in the ways that you can. It's been a blessing to witness and I've been near tears for all the best reasons because of you.
I love you. Thank you.
Thank you for being patient with me and whatever the universe has in store for me. Thank you for reminding me to keep breathing, keep working, keep finding new ways to move forward. I'm still here, still working, still co-healing with you.
Local organizations to support in this time*
[ETA: These are mostly Houston based as they are who I'm familiar with. However, Harvey hit most of the Gulf Coast so keep San Antonio, Corpus Christi, Galveston, and other areas in east Lousiana and the Gulf, in mind.]
How to Donate Money and Other Aid to Communities of Color in Houston - A list of charities and organizations working to keep immigrant, Black, Latinx and other populations safe after Hurricane Harvey. These organizations are crucial in ensuring that those who are often left behind in disaster relief receive the aid and support they need.
Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund administered by the Greater Houston Community Foundation.
Carter BloodCare. To donate, call 877-571-1000 or text DONATE4LIFE to 444-999.
Texas Diaper Bank in San Antonio is asking for diapers and wipes, which can be dropped off in person or mailed to 5415 Bandera Road, Suite 504, San Antonio, Tex., 78238.
South Texas Blood and Tissue Center is reporting a critical shortage, and has extended hours at all of its San Antonio-area donor rooms. To donate, call 210-731-5590 and visit their website for more information.
FEMA recommends checking with the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster for a list of trusted disaster-relief organizations in Texas.