Actor Kevin Conway once said “Everyone is handed adversity in life. No one’s journey is easy. It’s how they handle it that makes people unique.”
As we have accomplished what little we have in the Virgin Islands, we have seen the very best of people. We would be amiss to not post a blog about the people of the Virgin Islands, especially those we have gotten to know on the island of St. Croix.
The picture here of the beach was taken by Christel Renee Astin just recently, a young woman with not only talent, but the obvious ability to trap moments in time. What struck me about this photo was that it shows the beauty of the island, the freshness of the morning on which it was taken, and the footsteps of… well, that’s the real beauty of this photo…it could be the footsteps of anyone on that island.
These could be the steps of Eugene Phipps who, as a rescue worker on St. Croix was amongst the heroes that actively served his people in the wake of the hurricane only to be injured and air-evac’d to Atlanta for surgery. Now, as his island mends, he also heals, but in Florida, watching from a distance with spirits high and an encouraging word to anyone that will listen. His infectious smile has kept us going to be sure.
Perhaps they are the footsteps taken by a police officer named Daria who had to place her children on a helicopter to save their lives while staying behind to protect her beaten island home and its residents.
Perhaps these are the footsteps of Sandra, a professional in the health care industry that has been tirelessly seeking solutions for those in desperate need of medical care and attention.
Perhaps they are the footsteps of the lineman that hung on a pole just yesterday in the rain as the family below prayed for the completion of his day so that they could experience a lighted home for the first time in one hundred plus days.
Perhaps they are the footsteps of Elizabeth who, just today posted a picture of her Christmas tree with the caption that explained it as “half of a tree because I am still on a generator half of the time”.
It was these footprints that spoke to me this morning and this tree that spoke to me this evening. Two extremely symbolic images of the strength of an island full of people that have all been on one fantastic, horrific, glorious journey together yet separately. People tested beyond what anyone in the states would ever tolerate. Folks that still, despite the exhaustion, are celebrating the holiday, scrambling to hold a parade and reaching out from their “rock” to help others on other islands.
Footsteps…tens of thousands of footsteps that we can all learn from and reflect on during this holiday season.
Christel, thank you for the picture and for letting me use it here!
Elizabeth, may God bless you with more than could ever hang on the largest tree.