My brother Chris seems under two dark clouds these days, because he suffers from both Parkinson's disease and a failed marriage. He spent the last three days with me, and I hope, in his heart, they were days of lightened worries. I felt a true renewal of our relationship, and it was so good to be with him once again. We looked through old family photos, reminisced, and enjoyed a shared hobby -- photography. Chris snapped these two photos of hummingbirds visiting the feeder hanging outside my kitchen window:
We also went to the beach -- the Bolivar Peninsula where Hurricane Ike ravaged our beach community. This is an aerial view of my beloved beach after Ike. What remains of my beach cabin is in the middle of the image. Don't strain your eyes -- Only a concrete slab and a few pilings were left after the storm surge washed away my cabin and hundreds of others:
Here's a close-up of the pitiful remains of my cabin:
This was the marshland on the peninsula, immediately after Ike. Click on the photo -- vehicles were washed hundreds of yards into the marsh and half buried in the sand:
Chris, who no longer lives on the coast, wanted to see the results of Ike's fury for himself, so we drove down. What a surprise we found, though! The beach is in the midst of renewal. The marsh, which Ike buried in salt and sand, is greening. The mountains of debris have been cleared -- kudos to property owners and Galveston County. Some brave folk are rebuilding their cabins. And the Louisiana brown pelicans are back in even greater numbers. Chris and I snapped these pelicans -- squadron upon squadron of them -- as they soared along the beach on their way to Galveston Bay to roost for the evening:
To me, those pelicans -- strong survivors of a horrendous storm -- are a metaphor for my brother. He perseveres despite the ravages of Parkinson's disease, and he does so with strength and humor. And his heart is rebounding from the sorrow of his failed marriage. He will survive his storms, with renewed energy to live his life with dignity. We left Bolivar Peninsula just as the sun was setting on a green marshland:
Renewals -- Have faith that they will occur.