Resilience

We just left the home of an incredibly welcoming family in Pearlington, Mississippi where we talked about how this local community has weathered the storm in recent years. And by the storm, I mean multiple setbacks, some of which are weather related while others are indirect impacts of past storms and the recent oil spill.

Daryl has saved things from multiple hurricanes including Katrina and Gustav; it’s quite simple to him – you save things that can be saved so that money and resources are not wasted. He showed us tools, generators, fishing equipment – on and on and on was the list of items rescued from past disasters. He now has a shed full of equipment that is perfectly useful.

As he told us his stories about neighbors who were discarding things that had been ‘ruined’ (but that he fixed in a matter of minutes), it became clear that there is a level of ingenuity and resilience in these communities that is unlike anything I have ever seen. Daryl rode out Katrina with his boat tied to a tree while he watched his home float off its foundation in front of him. 3 years later, He rode out Gustav which flooded his home again. He’s still working on the house that is replacing the home he lost in 2005. The beautiful new home is still a few months away from completion, so he stays with his mother and girlfriend in a camping trailer next to the new house that towers above it.

Just imagine for a moment what it must be like to live through that kind of adversity. It’s something I have a hard time wrapping my head around. Regardless of the past tragedies, he is staying put. He loves other parts of the country – especially Colorado ski country, but his home is in the Mississippi low country. No matter how many storms come through, this is where we will always return. I think this embodies the Spirit of the Gulf Coast perfectly.

Special thanks to The Mountain Man, Cameron – my friend in Georgia that made the connection for us. We really enjoyed our visit!

Terrell is driving us up to Gulfport through the rain where he has family we are staying with tonight. I can’t wait to hear what they have to share! In my next post I will show some of the amazing images from our visit with Daryl and his family, but for now I had to share this piece of our journey.

(posted via iPhone)

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Brandon

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08 2010