A little late on my southern-good-luck-collard-greens. Happy New Second Day of the Year! The greens are saying 2013 will be sweet and spicy.
The semester is finished and it gave me a wicked flu/cold for a going away present. As the plane started to descend and circle the airport in Birmingham this afternoon, the “gift” kept on giving. I felt like my ears and sinuses were going to explode. There was a 2-year-old sitting in front of me who also had a runny, chapped nose and was covering her ears, screaming at the top of her lungs. I closed my eyes and focused on breathing to distract myself. I’m not a Buddhist, but this is supposed to help, right? As the pain got more intense I opened my eyes and looked out the window to gauge how long it would take us to land before I followed the 2-year-old’s lead.
My jaw dropped. There it was. This thing I had only seen on network news as the visual backdrop for arguments over global warming. An alarmingly long and wide path of a tornado. It is one thing to see it on a tv or computer screen, but to witness it in 3-dimension while moving through space (4-dimension?) was…I have no words. The plane went completely silent. Even the 2-year-old sitting in front of me.
The sun starts to set while my mom and I pass Dadeville on Highway 49. She tells me we’re about to drive through where a tornado crossed over the road. This close to your house? Really? The camera is on my lap. I roll down the window.
Destroyed homes have been shoved to the side of the road for FEMA removal. Devastating and fascinating at the same time. This image burned into my brain also takes place in 4-dimension along the highway.
3 weeks later is an interesting space. Much of the debris has been cleared or at least there is a plan for what remains. Trinkets of people’s lives are strewn across open patches of land with strange, naked trees. A car. A fence. I can start to see the scars in the land, made by monster tornadoes, some of them by man. [Read more…]