“My house has no roof and it is raining in my eyes.” – Rilke

Out my window, the world is fresh and clean with new fallen snow. Covered now, the hills and trees. Silent now, with no movement at all. A perfect morning to mourn, to listen to Bach’s Art of Fugue and think of Haiti.

My first thought was of New York City after a snowfall, how eerily clean the streets felt, how unlike the usual clamor and grime of city life. I then imagined Port Au Prince under fresh fallen snow. Gone for a moment: the curbside garbage, the potholes, the graffiti on cinder blocks, the stacks of tires. Even the rebar poking up everywhere would have a settled look, like bare trees in a forest.

I then thought ahead to another scene, where Port Au Prince was as clean without the snow. With smoothly paved streets, with straight clean curbs, with sidewalks used for walking, and ample room for all.

Numbers are so cold, so hard to imagine, to hold. A quarter million dead, a million and a half homeless. Better I think to imagine walking through the streets of this future Port au Prince, built anew with the conviction acquired through such a staggering loss.

This city is not mine to build. These are not my problems to solve. My small part, my hope, is helping to teach children to become confident problem solvers so they may create this future city and nation.

Later now, we come to another cold number as 4:53 approaches: forty-seven seconds, the endless shaking that caused such sorrow.

Sleep well tonight Haiti. May this next year bring the change you need. I wish you all peace and purpose.

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