On the afternoon of May 15 just moments after receiving a tornado alert, a Macroburst storm with 105 mph winds swept through our area. Unlike a tornado, Macroburst winds are straight line, cutting a path 3 miles wide and 8 miles long. The storm toppled and uprooted hundreds of trees taking down utility poles and power lines. Thanks to our generator we were only one afternoon and night without power. After verifying that no downed wires were live and that oil leaking from the electrical transformers now on the ground was not contaminated, the generator was refueled each day and kept us going during nine days of a massive clean up in the woods behind the monastery where our utility poles and wires were downed by countless trees.
Only after clearing away downed trees and poles, could new poles be erected; three in the woods and one here outside the monastery. After stringing power lines from pole to pole, a distance of about ¼ mile, new transformers were set in place. Our power returned ten days after the storm but it would be several more days before internet and TV were restored. Trees that fell on our lawn, doing no damage, have yet to be removed.
We are so grateful to each one who worked so hard to put in motion the multi-phased process in the aftermath of this astounding Macroburst and for the many skilled crews involved, each with their own special part to play in our recovery from this drama of nature.
We thank God that the sisters were safe and with the exception of one broken window, there was no damage to our monastery. Our 2007 Toyota car was totaled by a fallen tree and has since gone to car heaven, having served us well! We pray for the people in our area who were not so lucky and whose lives have been turned upside down by this storm as well as for so many in other parts of our country and world suffering from natural disasters.
On a lighter note, we’d like to introduce you to our new neighbors, LuLu and Bo, who moved onto our adjacent property this spring. When they came to lunch on Sr. Marjorie’s flowers, Carmen Bernos De Gasztold’s Prayer of the Goat came to mind:
let me live as I will!
I need a little wild freedom,
a little giddiness of heart,
the strange taste of unknown flowers…