What I've Learned…
After the heartbreak of the Moore tornado my Aunt Aleesha and I went to assist in the cleaning up of the cemetery. Some wondered why of all places we started there. The answer is because they had people to bury.
When we got there it looked like it would never be clean. You looked across the tattered yard thinking “how could we ever get this done?” This was like picking up confetti that disintegrates in your hand. The organizers said they didn’t think they would get 100 people. I raked and shoveled and picked stuff up and dragged large trash bags full of heavy wet muck for 40 minutes before I looked up and realized there was a sea of people. I am sure there were over 1000!
Although all seems lost, in those moments when everything in the world is as it should be, there are always those little nuances that let you know the universe is right. This day was no exception for me. I am a Jersey girl living in Oklahoma. While cleaning up a devastated cemetery we found a movie disk from the movie “Jersey Girl!” It had a small crack, but no scratches and was basically in tact.
During the cleanup every volunteer walked with a spirit of gratitude. No-one showed anger or selfishness. People were seeking needs out with an internal radar and jumping in without a blink. If something happened to someone (got hurt, banged into) I heard more than once “I have nothing to complain about.”
People hitched and gave rides. Isn’t that amazing in a world we were taught to be afraid of trusting one another?
A little girl handed out baked cookies from her car’s passenger window. She was happy and proud and the cookies were delicious. I savored every bite of the love that went into that cookie.
When we moved on to cleaning the neighborhoods I saw ladybug after ladybug. This is important to me because before my mother died at the age of 50 she told me whenever I saw a ladybug it was her. I felt connected to the universe.
While I raked and shoveled I contemplated the beauty of life and the coming renewal of the town. I found pictures. I found broken toys. I found a playboy. I found asphalt flung on lawns. But, the best thing I found yesterday was peace and love. As dirty as I was, I never felt so clean.