Last night’s tornado hit ten miles south of us and devastated Mayflower, before moving east toward Vilonia. Conway was unaffected by the storm, but not it’s aftermath, as friends and co-workers lost their homes, and in some cases, their lives.

It’s a sombre day. A day of images flooding social media. A day of phone calls and text messages. A day of saying we’re here. We’re okay.

On this morning, I return to the word spared repeatedly. When a natural disaster hits, it’s hard to come to terms with the implacable mindlessness behind the event. Force and destruction that follows no discernible process. So that word spared. A shaping of a storm. A path laid out. A tornado, half a mile wide, and luckily ten miles away. Life continues normally here, while nearby emergency crews are coordinating relief efforts. Spared, in this sense, reminds me of vulnerability. It reminds me of the indifference of nature. There was no consciousness at work, no decision. We were spared by the random coming together of a storm, a confluence of high and low pressure that gusted through Arkansas on an April evening.

If you’d like to help with the relief effort, a list is being compiled of ways you can help out. Let’s meet acts of nature with acts of humanity. Let’s spare our neighbors further grief.

 

Categories: Arkansas

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