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June 1st, 2006

Weekly Anamnesis: Calm

Calm is the theme for Weekly Anamnesis, Week #25:

There is a false sense of calm today here in the southern states; June 1 - the start of hurricane season. The storms won't start in earnest until later in the summer, we all know that; yet death and devastation are still too fresh on everyone's minds.

It was less than a year ago that Hurricane Katrina made her way along our beloved coast, destroying so much in her wake. A mere hour away from our home people were struggling to survive, trapped in flooding homes and scrambling for higher ground.

Being without electricity, we didn't know the full extent of it at the time. We knew only that New Orleans was "in trouble" - the desperate voices of people calling in to local stations crackling through on our battery-operated radio chilled us to the bone. They prayed and asked for help. The winds had stilled and the rain had stopped, but still the nightmare was just beginning.

Though the storm had passed, it would be some months before anyone in lower Louisiana or Mississippi could feel calm again. There was the rising death toll, the constant whir of rescue helicopters overhead, the horrible and heart-rending stories flowing in from New Orleans, Biloxi and the surrounding areas, the anxious fear that gripped us all every time a new storm began forming in the warm ocean waters.

And now, as June 1 dawns and hurricane season begins anew, the old fears return - the uneasiness, the hope that it won't happen again along with the knowledge that something similar will. I daresay, calm isn't something any of us will feel again until hurricane season has ended on a distant November day.

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