Story Circle Network

Catastrophe, Survival, and Recovery: Stories from the Storms

The Earth Stopped Spinning—Katrina Aftermath
Mary Moss, Richmond VA

No proof of my existence on this earth remains.
Not a cookbook, an oven or a microwave
No clothes, or furniture, no plates or cups or bowls.
Not a bed or book or telephone.
No jeans or shoes or underwear.
No sign of God in the midst of his children's pains.

It seems as if the earth just stopped spinning yesterday.
I can't explain the grief and the shock.
It just feels as if my life never was at all.
I no longer own a house or have a job.
It doesn't seem to make much sense.
I used to believe no matter what, God would make a way.

No sign of the toys or videos that once made my children laugh.
Not a single part of the world in which I lived remains.
No seashells from my honeymoon trip.
Not a trace of my son's little league trophy.
No baby's first t-shirt or tiny bronzed shoes.
Not even a photo album—not a single photograph.

Why did God allow this disaster to take place?
I can't find my car but its okay—there's no gas anyway.
Why did the levees break and the streets overflow?
I haven't had any food to eat now going on two days.
Why can't I feel like I'm glad to be alive?
I find it impossible to be comforted even by God's grace.

The batteries in my portable radio are almost spent.
I'm so thirsty and tired and really terribly afraid.
The hospitals are all closed and the injured not treated.
I'm listening to the groups of desperate people looting.
The National Guard has been called into action.
I'm telling you, going back in time would be heaven-sent.

Families roam the streets by day and try to find shelter at night.
The French Quarter's gone and the floating casinos.
Friends that I knew are either gone or moved to shelters
The tourists are stranded here with no earthly way to leave.
Fear grips us all as we think of the desolate future.
The dead bodies and toxic waste are an unimaginable sight.

The people from everywhere are sending money and supplies.
All the residents of the towns and cities clamor for relief.
The rescuers decide who to save and who to leave.
A new day will dawn tomorrow, with no rain or winds.
The government says help is on the way.
And someday I hope we'll look up with joy at the skies.

Noah was told by God that he'd never again end the world in a flood.
It's hard to believe that ancient promise was really kept.
Now the whole world may not be under water but mine sure is.
It's my pastor who would always say keep the faith and pray every day.
Not so easy to do when your church and your house have floated away.
I can hang on one more day, though, cause Jesus died for me and shed his blood.

Last updated: 08/08/06