Staff Writer
Columbus Parent

First, we checked on our new neighbor: A young single woman who had just moved in across from us. Then, my husband and I walked up the street with the dog to survey the damage in the neighborhood. In one block there was a huge tree leaning gently on the roof of a house. The owners were sitting on the tailgate of their SUV eating sandwiches and waiting for the police. A crowd of neighbors surrounded them asking if there was anything they needed until help came.

People gathered in small groups, neighbors called to each other from across the street, people sat on their porches. The streets were abuzz with people walking and talking. The sight of these wonderful people, the people who are generally invisible, was as moving to me as the damage from the storm that visited us that Sunday and left an indelible mark. I felt an unusual connection to my neighbors as we all bonded over that visit from Mother Nature.

Isn't it interesting that it takes some kind of disaster to slow us down and give us an opportunity to assess our lives? I know that the only way to live a fulfilled life is to stop the running required by the endless activities that call to us. I know that we all need to slow down, rest and relax if we want happiness. Connecting with people who are close to us and to those in our neighborhoods is a basic human need. Yet we all have so little time.