The indomitable Bahamian spirit
It takes a valorous reach into the inner recesses of one’s spirit to get back up after being knocked down in ways unimagined and to depths unforeseen.
And it takes a hardy, resilient spirit to sustain forward movement after that reach has been attained.
Such is the spirit of Bahamians who, from the ashes of destruction on Abaco and Grand Bahama, have been coming together to rebuild what parts of their lives they can in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian.
As we recognize the stoutheartedness of homeowners and business owners who remained on both islands in the storm’s aftermath, it is important for the country and for elected officials to appreciate the courage of those who chose to evacuate abroad.
Make no mistake about it, evacuating to a foreign country on the heels of death and complete material loss is not an act of running away or seeking an easy way out.
There is little to be considered easy about migrating when you do not have employment abroad, an income back home, or a pre-planned path to acclimation and accommodation wherever your final destination might be.
Such a move is fraught with risks and peppered with heartache leaving behind the homeland one loves so dearly.
Yet, Bahamians made what they considered to be the best decision they could to attempt to give their children and themselves safety and stability until the same could come closer to reality at home.
Many, we understand, are working to get themselves physically and psychologically strong again so that when they return home, they can be better able to contribute positively to their communities and within their family structures.
Voluntary evacuation for preservation is as much an evidence of indomitability as is staying amid the ruin when in both circumstances the fight for survival and the longing to have life return to the Abaco and Grand Bahama once known, fuels daily actions that contribute to bringing that longing to fruition.
The teamwork exhibited by Bahamians and residents on both islands is outstanding and is among the standout indications that notwithstanding the tremendous odds at play, there is hope for meaningful recovery.
Leadership within communities as residents co-ordinate talents and resources has led to noteworthy strides.
While much of the cleanup efforts require resources out of the reach of the average person due to the scope of damage, residents are doing what they can to return their living spaces to some sense of normalcy.
On Grand Bahama, excited educators in the public school system who stood ready to teach despite their own tremendous losses, finally welcomed students – a much sought-after step toward re-establishing critical routines on the island.
And business owners who considered giving up have decided to sow seeds of re-opening into what they still believe is the worthwhile soil of their island.
When in response to causal or intentional queries on how one is doing nearly two months since Dorian’s life-changing impact, you will often hear, “we’ll be alright” or “thank God for life” or “all is well”.
It’s not a facade or a state of denial or a disconnect from one’s reality.
It is the indomitable Bahamian spirit that never says die, though set back for a time.