“…And since we’ve no place to go, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!”
Styne & Cahn
If we had any doubts about what season we’re in, the last few days have surely put those thoughts to rest. The postcard that is my front yard is stunning and still, almost like the night before Christmas when “not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.”
I’ve enjoyed watching the snow fall quietly and peacefully and marveled at the gorgeous ice-covered trees, but I know for all its beauty and calm, conditions outside are treacherous. All around us there are those who are not warm, who are hungry, who don’t know when or where their next meal will come from.
A recent news story about a Texas warming center showed how people without power were being brought there but the dilemma became officials hadn’t planned for folks to stay overnight or for long periods so there was no food. Thankfully, some quick-thinking staffers figured that out and got busy securing hot meals.
Here’s what I know: any time we’re in an unfamiliar place for safety’s sake, there needs to be food close by because stress does something strange to our bodies. We either lose our appetite or we need to eat to calm our nerves. Having no power or water, like the Texans who probably didn’t know anything about their overwhelmed power grid before it failed, means you go into “fix it” mode.
As I checked on my favorite Texans—my only lil’ sweet grandson, my brother, nephew, and cousins, they were experiencing rolling blackouts and coping with low or no water pressure, having to boil water to cook when they had their three hours of electricity, and trying to find ways to stay warm.
According to the climate predictors, these severe weather conditions—tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, harsh temperatures, wildfires—the whole gamut of extremes, will only get worse because we have been unkind to the earth. I admit I have not always conserved water and resources like I do now, nor have I paid attention to all the conversations about climate change, but today is a day of reckoning.
We must be better informed and prepared though I’m not sure how we get ready for 100-year floods, pandemics, and disasters like the ones we’ve experienced lately. Every year we get four seasons in the same order and we know what to expect most of the time but when temperatures are unseasonably warm and wildfires ravage thousands of acres, we can’t afford not to be informed.
With our dams aging and becoming more fragile every day, and with crumbling roadways and bridges crisscrossing our nation, it behooves us to become actively involved in the politics of infrastructure upgrades, whether we’re liberal or conservative. Every administration raises the problem but the time to act is now.
As COVID-19 continues to ravage our communities, the number of families plagued by inadequate housing, economic deprivation, job loss, and food insecurity will grow too. We must continue reaching out to our neighbors—wherever they are—with acts of kindness, sensitivity, and warm food. We don’t have to look far to see a need.
No, we can’t be everything to everybody but what we can do, we must and should do. Helping someone who’s down on their luck with a few dollars or picking up groceries and prescriptions may not seem like much in the grand scheme of things, but little things make the difference. They matter, and together we can weather the storms, the literal and figurative ones.
How have you been dealing with the recent incidents happening around you? I am all ears to know about your experiences at #drbondhopson on Twitter and Facebook!
Looking for inspiration, empowerment, uplift, straight talk, an encouraging word to brighten your day? You’ve arrived! Meet Dr. Cynthia Ann Bond Hopson, best-selling author, educator, inspirational speaker, sistergirl–she’s all that and more. Now listen to her new podcast, “Three Stores, Two Cotton Gins, One Remarkable Life: The Journey from There To Here,” and meet her favorite family and friends as they share laughter and heartwarming life lessons. Look for it on this page or wherever you get your favorite podcasts.