Last Friday, my school was evacuated because the country store just a stone’s throw from our campus exploded. I’ll never forget that sound and the sight of the column of black smoke rising from a place that meant a lot to this community. This store was more than just a place where we stopped to get snacks, drinks, or gas. It was a core part of the community and the family that operated the store were beloved neighbors.
Ever since, I’ve spent a lot of time writing in my notebook as I attempt to make sense of things. When we evacuated to the local high school, I wished that I could curl up with a notebook because my fingers itched to record my feelings and to start processing the events of the day. When I finally arrived home Friday afternoon, after being hugged tightly by my everyone in my family, I took some time to write. I filled page after page with words that helped me release the thoughts and feelings and this enabled me to work through everything that had happened. While I’m still shaken by Friday’s events, writing has been an invaluable part of that process.