Hope and gratitude

Photographer unknown

Perhaps you’ve seen this image.  Perhaps you know that when Hurricane Sandy raged and tidal surges left the coast of New York and New Jersey (and much of the East Coast of the United States) battered and damaged, there was a fire tearing through a neighborhood of Queens, New York.  The fire department, hampered by the flooding, was unable to cope and as a result, numerous homes were destroyed.  Here, left among the rubble, is a statue of the Blessed Mother…

… which reminds me of one of my own favorite images, taken in the days following Hurricane Katrina in a town called Pass Christian.  I was privileged to tour the area and to photograph the damage – see photos here.

rey spadoniThis photograph, though perhaps nothing special artistically, is one I’m fond of because of the story behind it.

After Katrina’s surge left homes destroyed all along the Gulf Coast, some one thousand or so yards inland, a few passersby noticed this statue of Mary, lying face down in a pile of rubble.  Though they were not Catholics, they felt as though this statue needed to be placed elsewhere, in a spot with more dignity, more honor.  They recalled that St. Paul’s Catholic Church, itself profoundly damaged, was just a few miles away, so they carefully placed it in front of the main entrance there… a beautiful statue marking the doorway to a former church building.

Symbols of hope.  Both statues mark the hope that can remain within the ruins.

Here in the United States, we mark this day as one of thanksgiving.  It is a chance to express our gratitude for all that we have.  For some, that expression is filled with appreciation for love, for good health, for ample opportunity, for possessions.  For others, it is sometimes about hope.

To all of our readers, Ed and I would like to express our gratitude for your visits to our blog, your comments and your fellowship.  Happy Thanksgiving to you!

Finally, a quick word from me about my posting over the next few weeks.  You may have noticed that Ed and I alternate our posts, every other day during the week.  Occasionally, we’ll add a “weekend inspiration” as well.  Because I’ll be on the road and some 10,000+ miles away, I’m not sure when I’ll be able to check in, though my intention is certainly to do so.  The 18 hour time distance and likely absence of reliable internet connectivity will leave me with possibly sporadic posts.  If I’m able, I’ll let you know how it’s going (and will certainly toss in a few images of the South Island of New Zealand).



P.S.  A few days ago, I wrote that I was trying to decide which camera kit to bring to New Zealand, striving to hit the right balance between features, image quality, size/weight considerations, and durability.  The answer?  Survey says… Nikon D7000.  Ah, the old standby.

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4 Responses to Hope and gratitude

  1. Donna McCommon says:

    These photos are amazing. Since I was in the path of Katrina, those photos told the story of the storm. It’s amazing the items that remained. It speaks a loud message.
    Have a wonderful time on your journey and I’m sure we will enjoy the wonderful photos you captures.
    Happy Thanksgiving to you, Ed and your families.

    • Rey says:

      Thank you, Donna.

      I was indeed struck by how the path of Katrina was seemingly indiscriminate. I stood where a fast food restaurant once did and all was gone except for the foundation, a few scattered chairs and a table, all not bolted to the floor, there… just as they once were, looking undisturbed. Strange.

      Happy Thanksgiving and thank you!


    • Ed Spadoni says:

      Thank you Donna, I hope your day is the best. Ed

  2. Clanmother says:

    A wonderful tribute to Thanksgiving – symbols of hope. We Canadians celebrate our Thanksgiving in October, but we always like to share another Thanksgiving with our American cousins. One of my favourite quotes about thanksgiving is by Victor Hugo: “To give thanks in solitude is enough. Thanksgiving has wings and goes where it must go. Your prayer knows much more about it than you do. “

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