Mental Health Clean-Up Following a Natural Disaster

“The sole meaning of life is to serve humanity.” ~ Leo Tolstoy

As I sit on my patio, warmed by the early autumn sun, I breath in the alchemy of rosemary, thyme and oregano and a variety of mints- aromas from my herb garden. The squirrels chatter as they scamper across the trapeze-like branches of the old maple and majestic oaks that provide me with shade and entertainment for a variety of creatures. Blue Jays, robins and cardinals flit back and forth, foraging end of the season strawberries. Finches hoover overhead just long enough to steal a sunflower seed (or two) from the heads of these long stalks that have faded and now hang low. It is a beautiful September morning.

Yet, just a few hours away, nature has taken a different turn and spun up water and winds of 185 mph, decimating lands and destroying lives. The Caribbean lay pulverized with debris of paradise strewn about, and the Atlantic US coastline prepares for the wrath of yet another hurricane. Harvey, Irma, Jose creating havoc on the East Coast, while fires enflame the West. Homes lost, families separated, havoc wreaked by the same Mother Nature that offers me such solace on this early morn.

As with any traumatic experience, I seek out meaning…attempting to make some sense out of these tragedies. I try to identify who is to blame for such suffering and loss. Finding none, or very little peace from my efforts, I turn to what I know best… I dive into my counseling toolbox for guidance and I DO something.