This post is sponsored by prAna.
“If you truly love nature, you’ll find beauty everywhere.”
– Vincent VanGogh
…you can even find beauty following a hurricane.
It’s been over a week since Hurricane Irma left her mark on my beautiful State and my spirit, but in the devastation I found beauty all around me. As we watch the oceans for the devastation that Marie may bring to the islands, I’m looking very hard to find the rainbow that will happen following that storm. It’s not easy…
My spirit is still shattered from the stress that Irma brought to us. The hardest decision that we faced was if we should stay or if we should leave. That decision changed daily as Irma inched her way closer to our home. Many of our friends and neighbors stayed and weathered the eye of the storm; I’m sure we would have been fine had we stayed. We came back to very little damage (thankfully)….but what if the storm would have been a little bit closer? There are so many “what if’s” and it’s hard not to think about them even after the storm has left.
While we are lucky to have had our power restored after a few days; many in nearby areas are still without power. They are forced to return to work and school while still living in the dark. The storm debris still scatter the neighborhood streets as we wait for the crews to come gather the limbs and branches. We are the lucky ones, the families who lost their homes in Key West and the islands will be facing challenges for months to come. Mother Nature is fierce, wild, and unpredictable.
..but there is beauty to be found in all of this.
The beauty comes in the form of neighbors helping neighbors. Since the first day following the storm our neighbors were helping one another. They were checking in on the elderly. They were offering food, water, and shelter to those who needed it. They were calling and texting one another to check on their well being. They were texting neighbors who evacuated to share pictures, to calm their anxiety, and to let them know that their homes had been spared. They were helping one another pick up the pieces of trees that scattered our lawns.
The beauty comes from neighbors helping the community. There are linemen from our neighboring states who are still here working to restore power. Local families who were affected by the storm are helping those who are here to help us. We are washing laundry and providing food for out of state linemen. We are providing food, clothing and other essentials to neighboring communities who are still recovering or have lost their homes.
The beauty comes from the government and school systems who help our children return to school. The beauty comes in unexpected emails letting parents know that school lunch will be free students for a month following the storm. Or from the caring teachers who returned to work to help our children get back to normal; while still recovering themselves.
It’s not always easy to find the beauty though and some days we just struggle to get through the day. Our lives are slowly returning to normal, but we still have scars that Irma has left behind.
There is a new anxiety that I’ve never felt before as we watch the weather radars predict where the next storm will hit. The fear of having to live through this again. The fear that next time we may not be so lucky. The fear that next time we may make different decisions.
...but we have to move on.
We have to pick up the debris and shattered pieces of our lives. We have to find a way to bring back our love for nature. We have to dig deep within us to find our love for the ocean. The ocean is what brought our family to Florida and it’s something that brings me peace when life is stressful. I have to find that peace again.
We have to wake up each day with a goal. As we get up each morning, the last thing I want to stress over is what I’m going to be wearing. I need to find comfortable clothing that is ready to take on the adventure that the new day will bring. prAna clothing helps me go from getting my kids to school, to work, to Girl Scouts, and then to the weekly football game with the comfort and design that I need. prAna clothing is durable enough to allow me to pick up storm debris, yes fashionable enough to take the family out to dinner. I know that when wearing prAna I’m ready for whatever adventure life can throw at me.
…even a hurricane!
Use discount code MS15CP to save 15% off your prAna purchases during the month of September.
Ways to help during hurricane recover:
If you’re looking for ways to help the communities affected by Hurricane Irma there are several global and local ways to help.
- For our friends around the world you can always donate to your favorite relief organizations.
- Give blood.
- Donate food to a local shelter or food bank.
- Call your local shelter and find out what their current needs are.
- Don’t forget the animals; many animals were abandoned or lost during the storms and rescues and shelters are in need of supplies.
- Find a lineman and thank them; bring them food or offer to wash their laundry.
- Continue to talk with your neighbors and ensure that they are healing emotionally.
Thank you prAna for adding a few new pieces to my wardrobe so I can be ready for my next adventure! Shown above: prAna Ivana Top and Sage Joggers. The Ivana Top is a lightweight woven top that is perfect for Fall in Florida. The Sage Joggers are the perfect pant for active moms who juggle kids, careers, and afterschool activities! To see my other prAna reviews: Celebrate the Whole You, Summer Cravings with prAna, and #JustBeYou with prAna
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