CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- While the mountains of my home escaped the greatest destruction from superstorm Sandy, they still received a devastating two-day blizzard brought on by the storm. More than three feet of wet, heavy snow crushed our communities.
The roofs of businesses collapsed. Thousands of trees lay split and broken on the ground. Roads were blocked. Power lines were down and countless homes were without phones, electric, and heat.
We were trapped in the cold and the dark. All I could do was wrap my children in their warmest clothes, huddle under blankets, and smile when our newest puppy dog curled in a ball for warmth and fell asleep on my daughter's lap.
When the storm stopped, however, people went outside and met this disaster with an amazing combination of rugged resilience and kind-hearted compassion. People pulled out their snow shovels and began to dig out their cars, homes, and driveways. Pick up trucks and tractors with snowplows lent a hand to the highway workers clearing the roads. The National Guard arrived to help cut up the fallen trees and free the tangled power lines. The linemen from the power companies worked 16-hours a day. People with generators offered their electricity and people with gas heat opened their homes to their neighbors.
Food was shared. Work was shared. Smiles were shared. It was so wonderful to see. Watching it all, I was in awe once again at the strength of the human spirit and the love of the human heart.
The author C.S. Lewis entitled one of his books, "Surprised by Joy." He also used the phrase to describe what he felt when he realized the immensity of God's love for him and everyone else. I, too, was "surprised by joy" when I saw how a horrible hurricane brought out such an immensity of love in God's children.
The human spirit is an amazing thing. Sometimes it shines brightest when the times are darkest. Sometimes its love warms our hearts even in the bitter cold of a blizzard.
Mazzella is a writer who lives in Upper Glade and can be reached at joemazze...@frontier.com.