Friday, March 28, 2014
Osoberry is one of the very first wild plants to leaf out and bloom here in the Maritime Northwest. It's in full bloom right now. The flowers are an important early nectar source for hummingbirds and native bees when nothing else is in bloom. It produces a bitter fruit that feeds wild mammals, including the bear, (thus the name Osoberry) Seeing and smelling the blossoms of this plant everywhere right now is a constant reminder to me to pray for Oso, to pray for hope and new life where there seems only to be devastation.
I'm not even one of the people directly affected by the tragic landslide in Oso, but still there is nothing that can prepare you for the sight of FEMA and emergency shelters at local schools, crossing paths with a red cross truck on the morning drop off, seeing a truck with "department of homeland security" emblazoned upon it in your City Hall, knowing people who are searching out there, seeing six news trucks with satellite dishes like vultures along the river, seeing another news truck at a horse barn nearby, seeing flags at half mast and knowing it's for your community, hearing ages of children who died and being slammed with the reality that you have children the same age, seeing the detour sign for Darrington, watching your town fire chief get into his car in town and realize you know him from the news briefings, realizing that the place you go to buy jojos for your son is a main shopping store for the people of Oso, remembering living out that way and how beautiful it is out there, hearing heartbreaking stories from dear friends and realizing that everyone you know is affected in one way or another by the tragedy of it all.
There is no reason or sense to be made of any of it, but there is this hope we hold inside that won't leave us. There can never be a good reason that babies and grandmas and daddies die suddenly, but we can be sure that God is walking with each person in our community and we can have the hope that there will be small bits of beauty to emerge from the ashes of this devastation.
We already see it in the community and the way teens stand in the rain selling stickers that say "4 Oso, " the way a child wants to contribute what little they have to provide comfort for others, the way every where you turn someone is helping and the way when someone is crying for what feels like no reason, that someone, no matter whether you've never hugged before, you are hugging them now.