The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members, a heart of grace and a soul generated by love. -- Coretta Scott King
Our last ten days have been chaotic, to say the least. As soon as local and national meteorologists announced that Hurricane Irma was headed our way, we began the final steps of emergency preparation. Stress of the impending storm was evident in everyone’s eyes and faces, as we navigated the frantic pace of trying to keep life as normal as possible while dealing with the potential of total devastation.
As a community, Canterbury battened down the hatches, made plans, closed school, and most people got the heck out of town. But no matter the evacuation route, we all stayed close through the grace of social media and technology. A private faculty/staff Facebook page was started so we could keep in touch with each other and find out where folks were, how they were doing, what they needed. When you have an extended group--a chosen family of sorts--that knows you, they can feel how you are doing even from a distance. This is one of the most profoundly healing parts of being part of our community.
During the storm, there was so much of all of this going on across our Canterbury community, not just among faculty and staff but among parents, alumni, and friends. It’s as if the hurricane, which should have pulled our threads apart, actually made them tighter. These underlying “crusader connections” are the ties that follow us into the world in so many unexpected ways, even after graduation or retirement.
Throughout the storm, my connections to Canterbury kept me focused and strong. It’s like there were angels pushing previously-unknown crusaders my way to remind me, even in the most worrisome times, that our extended family is everywhere to support us. Just days after the storm I had a medical procedure, and it turned out that my doctor lives across from our Hough campus and knows us well, and my nurse was a Crusader alumna from the Class of 1984. Our tapestry is ever-growing and made so vibrant by everyone who’s ever been a part Canterbury.
On our first day back after the storm--relatively normal for a Monday--as everyone checked in and gave hugs of relief, I was reminded that there’s truly no place like Canterbury. I am so grateful for each and every member of this community.