|Maggie and Greig, Madisonville, Louisiana circa August 2005|
You can make out the outline of Mom's house in the upper left-hand corner of this photograph. A fallen power line is draped over a felled tree. You can see that the massive oak still stands. Everything else is scattered, twisted, and torn. Katrina was a monster wind storm - and this photograph attests to that fact.
I'm standing in the above photograph with my Springer Spaniel named Maggie. During the storm, Maggie had stayed in the laundry room, a small room adjacent to Mom's car port. Mom and some of our family had evacuated twenty-five miles northeast to where I was living at the time as a Benedictine monk at Saint Joseph Abbey (which you can't tell by looking at this picture!).
When the above photograph was taken - which I estimate to be about August 31st - it had been about three or four days after the storm had passed that we were able to assess the damage. Arriving in Madisonville by car, I had to park a few blocks away from the house because the roads were blocked by trees and fallen debris. The area was gridlocked.
Once we pressed through tree debris and made our way to the house our first thought was, "Did Maggie survive the storm?" And yet, we found in the laundry room lying on her doggie bed. I called her name loudly, "Maggie! Maggie!" But she didn't awake. I thought, at first, she was dead. But after a solid minute had passed she jumped up out of her slumber - which I assumed was a deep sleep. She was alive; remarkably, at fifteen years old - she had survived Hurricane Katrina.
And so did we.
And so did we.