Trumm: Reinvention and rediscovery: Puerto Rican baseball after Hurricane Maria

From Jim Trumm at Consumers Advocate on September 21, 2018:

One year later, the scars are largely invisible. Felled trees and sodden furnishings have been picked up and hauled away to unseen landfills. The odor of diesel and wet cardboard that pervaded San Juan for weeks after the storm has dissipated, replaced now by the salt scent of the Atlantic and the perfume of auto exhaust. There are still blue tarps on one roof in ten, but when you fly into Puerto Rico and see them from five thousand feet, they look pretty until you understand what they represent.

It’s only when you look at the island through the lens of memory that the gashes and pockmarks left by Hurricane Maria become apparent. People who were born and raised here see them clearly. There are businesses that closed and never reopened. Schools that stand vacant. Once-beautiful parks and woodlands that bear the marks of torture. And above all, there’s a collective case of post-traumatic stress disorder that began when so much of what was living and familiar blew away or died where it stood.

But along with the scars came clarity. For many Puerto Ricans, the storm brought a renewed sense of purpose. Being confronted with so much destruction helped them decide what they wanted to build. It helped them rediscover old dreams. It brought clarity.

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Originally published: October 4, 2018. Last Updated: October 4, 2018.