As with many parts of the country, the Arkansas Delta is not immune to storms. They occur frequently this time of year and the results can be devastating. A storm in 1952 swept through the area of our farm in northern Lonoke County, killing several peoples and destroying property in its path. One young boy was killed less than two hundred yards from where our farmhouse sits.
So, it was no surprise to find that we had suffered the results last night, not of a tornado, but of strong winds. The large oaks that populate the area suffer when rain and snow have weakened their support system. The result is pictured below.
Although it creates damage and difficulties, my first thought after such devastation is: how much worse it could have been. For each bit of destruction, one can simply apply the locus of “a little more in this direction or a little more in that direction, and it could have really caused a mess.”
Sometimes we don’t appreciate the fortune that may follow us during a disaster. Sometimes we do.
When I was a child in southeast Arkansas, a deadly storm swept through our community killing 32 people, six in one house about the distance of two city blocks from our combination home and country grocery. The homes on each side of ours were completely demolished but ours suffered only slight damage.
My father, realizing his good fortune amongst the damage, opened his store and, according to a yellowed news clipping discovered after his death, said. “If you need it come and get it.” It bankrupted him but he never mentioned it again. Perhaps when he thought of his economic setback, he remembered the sight of a home, in which a family of four were killed, turned completely upside down in Bayou Imbeau south of Pine Bluff, Arkansas.
In these modern times, it seems that tragedy often initiates an immediate desire to place blame. Sometimes we overlook a better approach of counting our blessings, planning for the future, and moving on down the road.