Photo Exploration: Brick from Katrina, August 2015.

August 29, 2015 at 4:32 pm

Ten years. In my com­ing-on-ear­ly-mid-life­time, I’ve expe­ri­enced a few ten year anniver­saries. Ten years after the space­ship Chal­lenger. Ten years after high school grad­u­a­tion. Ten years after 9/11. And now, ten years after Hur­ri­cane Kat­ri­na dec­i­mat­ed the gulf coast across three states.

There are many, many, many remem­brances and notes and sto­ries and tes­ti­monies that will be shared today. I don’t have much of a tragedy to share — all my fam­i­ly sur­vived, near­ly all our homes were intact, and although I was with­out pow­er for three weeks, it was a small price in the larg­er pat­tern of destruc­tion. I don’t car­ry much in the way of per­son­al sor­row or loss.

What I do car­ry with me is a brick. One brick I’ve kept from the mil­lions and mil­lions that once formed thou­sands and thou­sands of homes that were dam­aged or lost in the storm.

The facts have been known for so long and the analy­sis of the fail­ures so detailed that it’s almost rote at this point to dis­cuss the day. I do have my own mem­o­ries and emo­tions from the day and what hap­pened after­wards for sure. But I think that a bet­ter sto­ry is one of a sin­gle piece of mason­ry that was in a home for year and years, then ripped away from its place and left in the mud by nature being.…well, nature. We can’t be mad at nature and we can’t fault storms for grow­ing into mon­sters, but what we can do is exam­ine at a piece of what remained to see if we have bet­ter pre­pared our­selves for the next time cli­mate comes knock­ing at our door.