116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
In some ways it feels like the derecho event of 2020 went as quickly as it came. But we need only look around at our community or speak with our neighbors to know that this disaster is far from being a distant memory.
We still find ourselves occasionally surprised by the new views created by the loss of tree canopy, or notice the tarps that hang on housing still in need of repair. But we also take stock of the good that miraculously was brought by this devastating event- people coming together to provide meals, groups completing welfare checks on the most vulnerable, and organizations helping to connect those in need of emergency housing to name just some of the generous actions we all witnessed and played a part in.
It felt like we all got a momentary glimpse of what might be possible if we prioritized the urgent needs of one another. Though we have certainly come a long way, our collective community consciousness still begs for more time to process it all.
And as the anniversary of the derecho passes for the second time, I personally find myself reflecting on what I can do to take the resilient spirit of our response to this event and apply it to the day to day.
This Resiliency Day brings with it a complex storm of intense emotions. As we continue to take steps to erase the physical impact of the event (planting trees, grinding stumps, fixing homes, etc.), I find myself wanting to pause just a little bit on this day. I hope we might use this day in our history to sit with the good and the bad and understand the ways this day of resiliency might serve as a reminder of the best of who we are individually, what we are capable of collectively, and the world we are able to create when we put these two together.
Tamara Marcus is a social justice and climate action advocate who serves as sustainability director for Linn County.