I will be honest, I haven't watched the news about the devastating tornadoes, I have read the headlines online, but not delved any deeper. It's not that I'm uncaring, or unsympathetic, it's just that I can't handle all of the sadness, loss, and deep, deep pain that those people must be feeling.
Once upon a time, when a tragedy like this would strike, I would read every story, watch every gut wrenching video, and hope that by doing so, in some small way I could take away some of that pain.
Instead, now I tend to search for beauty during times of darkness. Sadness spurs me on to want to capture and create loveliness and calm amidst the unthinkable.
Last night I had dinner with a very dear friend, and we laughed and chatted until 1/2 hour past the closing time of the restaurant. They were so sweet and didn't even tell us that they were closed, but the mop buckets and empty room brought us out of our bubble and told us it was time to go home.
We were blissfully unaware, because neither of us had heard the news, that across the country others were experiencing something totally different, something horrific.
Today, I went out into my yard and gathered up a huge bouquet of roses and peonies, arranged them into one of my favorite vases, washed some strawberries, broke out a china tea cup and some tea. I needed something pretty to counteract all of the ugliness that touches us each day.
Like the fact that a friend lost her beloved dog last week, or that today is a memorial service for another friend's husband. And the fact that so many are now without homes, clothing, or their greatest possessions of all...their loved ones...not just in Oklahoma, but all over the world.
So instead of focusing on the loss, the sadness, the emotions that I can't fix, can't change, can't take away, I will instead focus my energies on creating beauty and donating money and supplies to Oklahoma so that they can begin to pick up the pieces and move forward.
A friend of mine from HS posted this on his FB page, so I will pass this along to anyone who wants to help with the relief effort.
Click here for a list of ways you can donate to help the victims in Oklahoma.