“Hurricane” by Mary Oliver (and how to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey)

It didn’t behave
like anything you had
ever imagined. The wind
tore at the trees, the rain
fell for days slant and hard.
The back of the hand
to everything. I watched
the trees bow and their leaves fall
and crawl back into the earth.
As though, that was that.
This was one hurricane
I lived through, the other one
was of a different sort, and
lasted longer. Then
I felt my own leaves giving up and
falling. The back of the hand to
 But listen now to what happened
to the actual trees;
toward the end of that summer they
pushed new leaves from their stubbed limbs.
It was the wrong season, yes,
but they couldn’t stop. They
looked like telephone poles and didn’t
care. And after the leaves came
blossoms. For some things
there are no wrong seasons.
Which is what I dream of for me.

Mary Oliver,  A Thousand Mornings.

Related read via OnBeing.


Please consider supporting those affected — and those helping those affected — by Hurricane Harvey. I’ve included several links: to J.J. Watts’s YouCaring page, to the SPCA of Texas, to two NPR articles (one on the many animal rescues that have taken place, and one on the many ways you can help), and more:

How to Help:

J.J. Watts’s YouGiving Site

The SPCA of Texas – Hurricane Harvey Support

Soul Horse is coordinating efforts to rescue horses and livestock, as well as hay transport. I fell in love with Randi Collier’s facebook page and all of the photos of local cowboys taking on the “hard” or “impossible” rescues. Specific needs and how to donate (mostly need $ to cover fuel and transportation).

The Harris County (Houston, TX) Animal Shelter has an Amazon Wishlist.

This Facebook Group “Texas Shelters Donations/Supply List Needs” has several organizations’ Amazon Wishlists posted.

NPR: “Here’s How You Can Help People Affected By Harvey” (includes links to local food banks, shelters, animal rescues…)

If you cannot give money or items, please consider giving blood.

NPR: “From Hawk To Horse: Animal Rescues During Hurricane Harvey

This video from The Dodo shows some of the animal rescues mentioned in the above NPR article. (The Dodo also has an article on how to help animals affected by Harvey.):

And click to help the Humane Society’s Animal Rescue Team who have been rescuing animals from flooded homes and bringing them to safety:


Thank you we are saying and waving / dark though it is*

*with a nod to W.S. Merwin, whom you will hear more from next time. ❤


5 thoughts on ““Hurricane” by Mary Oliver (and how to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey)

  1. WOW!
    The feels – the hard work really begins now as people make their way back to their homes to find the devastation. Things can always be replaced, but items like photos, baby books – that’s the hard part. And the pets. And the non-pets like alligators and snakes and muskrats who are just as scared…it makes my heart hurt.
    I love this poem – it’s perfect…striking. I still see trees on the Kansas landscape stripped by tornadoes…and I see their sprigs at the bottom.
    Thank you so much for including these links, too.
    You’re my favorite.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Love you honey.
      And all that standing water still. Becoming toxic with the waste and sewage and chemicals and gas lines and the oil and antifreeze and gas in all those flooded vehicles.
      Like I said in my text, humans at least have a voice and thumbs….pets and wildlife are totally at the mercy of humans. Some of the stories…..the ones that don’t get shared because they’re not “feel good” stories…. it just breaks my heart. But the people who are helping keep my heart from shattering totally.
      I know we talk a lot about faith, but these days faith without works….
      We’ll be going down as soon as it’s safe to do so and after the initial waves of help die down. It’s gonna take a long time to rebuild and recover. But healing always follows catastrophe. Eventually. ❤️

      Liked by 2 people

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