12 October 2016

A Fisherman's Prayer

It’s been an emotional rollercoaster of a week around here. We’ve been worried about friends and family that were in the path of Matthew, and continue to watch as the floodwaters continue to rise in the eastern part of North Carolina where we have many friends who are currently safe. Yet, that worry doesn’t leave you. There was also the end of the Main Street Electrical Parade’s run at the Magic Kingdom. I’ve thought often this week about the many magical times I was able to view this parade, and what it meant to me as a child and an adult. And then I turn my attention back to the wake of Matthew and wonder about Hilton Head Island and Disney’s resort there in particular.

Very little has been known about what the state of the island is. In fact, residents were only permitted to return to the island late yesterday. What we have seen has been truly heartbreaking. The miniature golf courses that we frequent when we were there are wrecked. Giant oaks have been forcefully removed from the ground, root systems and all, and even some of the palms are bent at unnatural angles. Docks are gone, homes and cars are resting places for the aforementioned trees, and water is still standing where it shouldn’t be.

The website for Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort only states that the resort is currently closed due to Matthew and that it will be reopening to guests as soon as possible. I’ve been able to catch the tops of trees and the roof of the Live Oak Lodge from photos posted online of the Shelter Cove Marina, which looks to be in pretty fair shape compared to other parts of the island. This is all that I’ve been able to gleam in the past several days however.

Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort, and the larger island at that, is a home away from home for the missus and I. It is the place where we can truly relax, play recreational games that we don’t play in our daily lives, listen to a story or visit with Shadow, and let the world slip by for a little while. All of the staff at the resort and residents we meet at restaurants, shops, or other touristy locations are nothing but friendly and some of the warmest people you could ever hope to meet. It is a place that holds a special place in my heart.

It does not appear that anyone passed away due to Matthew on the island, so I have can release the fear of physical harm coming to these individuals that are so near and dear to us. Even from the start I was never too worried about Shadow, I assumed she would be taken good care of. But I do worry about spots like this.

It is one of the largest oak on the resort. The road next to it has to be made of cobblestones to allow for the massive root system that continually buckles pavement. Is it still standing? I can’t count how many children I’ve seen playing around this tree or sitting in the bends of other oaks on property. What of Fishing Pole jets out into Broad Creek, or the directional sign for resorts worldwide?

Hilton Head Island has also been in the midst of a dune revitalization project. From what I understand, the dunes have been washed away. How does that affect the beach areas surrounding Disney’s Beach House? I’ve heard of a piece of roofing near the Beach House that was dislodge, but noting of the Disney’s spot on the shore.

All of this is trivial compare to the loss of life, property, and livelihood people are feeling up and down the eastern seaboard this week. That said, the missus and I will be venture back down to Hilton Head Island in a few months. I think it is important to be there, to see the hurt and do our part to help with the recovery of a place we love. I don’t imagine it will be the same as the last time we visited, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t still important to be there. For us it will be a time of rest, relaxation, and reflection, but I’m certain there will be more than one conversation with staff and island residents about what how they are doing and what we can do. Until we have more information, all we can do is hope for the best, worry, and remember.

1 comment:

Go said...

Hey Ryan, we on Hilton Head Island have been on a physical and emotional roller coaster this second week of Oct. The island has benefitted from nature for so long with the mild climate, consistent rain and clean, salty air but nature has a dangerous side which brought a force that no man could challenge. I knew the risk when I hung my hat in the Lowcountry 27 years ago but it is still sad to see this place take a beating this severe. This is a time I will forevever remember as I have spent the last 4 days rebuilding my own property and those of my friends and family. It will continue for many months but with each day there is progress. There was no loss of life due to the storm and that is paramount. We live to fight another day and look forward to welcoming back the extended family in all of those who cherish this place for a moment or a lifetime.
Blessed through it all.....forever.