You should know, this flood is not a flash flood. This is a flood that took hours, months, even years to develop. More than once, I was given fair chance to evacuate, but instead I placed sandbags around my fears that protected my doubts and allowed me to roost safely within them. I built levees of the heart with impermeable soil that promised security and a future, but at what price? Well-constructed levees let nothing in, but shouldn't we also consider that which they keep out? One can drown in safety too.
|Photograph by Jim Richardson|
However, this isn't about levees and rivers, although the river is about. This is about roads still above water. Journeys of the heart that must be taken. This is about allowing the levees to fail and resisting the sandbags. This is about roaring louder than the roaring water.
When floodwaters recede, they often reveal a foundation changed yet remaining. Nutrient rich silt fills the cracks, silt that has supported growth for millions of years. When one stands on a million years, there is no doubt time is on her side. Beneath the water is a mystery waiting to be unearthed with a shovel and a dream, just as things have always been unearthed.
Tonight, a ghostly fog shrouds the visible. The rain has stopped, and a sound faint but detectable rings from the river. For whom the bell tolls, I ask as I stand at the cold door straining my ears for an answer. I’m thankful for the fog tonight, the way it sits heavily on the fence across the street. The bell continues to toll, although distantly. The fog lifts, briefly, but long enough to reveal a sliver of the moon and a question. Suddenly, it's understood for whom the bell tolls is only part of the question; we must also ask who rings the bell?
We are our own bell-ringers.