They didn’t come Sunday. They will likely come later. You know who they are, and they are not the most important thing happening in this community right now.
My husband and I attended the town meeting Dec. 8 with our precocious toddler who insisted on choosing her outfit herself: a bright turquoise dress over pastel pink velour leggings and a bright red coat. Oh my.
When we got there, the auditorium was almost full.
The discussion was important. The questions needed to be answered.
People expressed concerns, listened, agreed, and disagreed. There were cameras from TV news stations, police officers, city officials. There were also high school students, parents, business owners, and families.
And between the discussions of “what to do and what not to do” every once in a while somebody would raise their hand and say how proud they were of this community, right that very minute, as we gathered together to prepare for what was heading our way.
It kinda felt like the “family meetings” I experienced as a kid in our basement when tornado sirens wailed. Hear a siren, head for the basement.
Dad would turn on the TV or radio and get the facts about the storm headed our way. Sometimes we had snacks. Eventually we forgot our troubles and played Boggle. Sometimes, we’d stay down there for hours, even after the storm had passed.
It’s kind of the way I feel whenever any sort of bad weather blows through, no matter where I live. I have this sense that natural disaster brings people together to weather the same storm. Oddly enough, I find this comforting. Most days I’m so caught up in my own whirlwinds I forget that people I see every day are out there doing the same thing — doing their best to batten the hatches and weather their own storm.
On Dec. 8, my little family sat with many other Marion families (some I only knew by name) in one place and prepared for the gathering storm. It felt like a family meeting. It felt like community.
This storm has been a loud one and we’ve heard it rattling a few loose floor boards. The thing is, the mere threat of severe weather immediately brought this town together.
I can now put faces with more names. And many people will probably now know my kid likes to dress funny — but they’ll know her when they see her at the store. Our foundation is stronger, and the storm was just a lot of blustering wind.
Now, who’s up for snacks and some Boggle?