another repost from before the web crash… written just after the Nashville floods
Over the past two days Nashville has tried to absorb more than 13.8 inches of rain, and failed. Bellevue has been turned into a lake, the Cumberland River is threatening downtown and my school looks like an outtake from Waterworld.
My AP students are facing their national exams later in the week, but school is closed to anyone without a snorkel, and no one knows when the waters will recede and life resume.
So I ponder weak and weary…
The end of an academic term, or the conclusion on any long-term project that you may find yourself involved in can be very similar to the slow approach of floodwaters. You plan, you prepare – but it’s not until the waters press the bulwarks that you know if you were ready. Will there be a crack, will the crack signal a general failure or just become part of the story you tell later of how close a thing it had really been.
Floodwaters are ever approaching, and the smart observer is ever mindful of his/her state of preparation. But most days are sunny and kind and the motivation to prepare is not easily summoned.
You knew that I would get to the metaphor eventually, right…
“I just need a minute.” A phrase in common usage. We’ve all said it, and we know the situation that preceded its use. We’ve been flooded, inundated, overwhelmed – or at least it feels that we have been, mostly because we weren’t ready for what came at us. But we probably should have been.
At least three or four times a day, I think of something that I should do. Not something that I have to do, something that I just should do – to be prepared for something, to get just a little ahead – just incase. But I don’t.
Clean the gutters before the next big rain, get fresh batteries incase the power goes out, fill the gas tank, buy some water, and on, and on. But I don’t.
But floods and storms are just physical things – the things I should really be preparing for are not. You can hear reminders in the interviews they do with people who get rescued from floods – “We lost everything, but we all got out safe… the house is gone, but we are all together.” The ones that break your heart don’t mention physical loss – “The house is still there, but we can’t find our daughter…”
There is no preparation for that kind of flood.
We know that storms will overtake us, and we know that we should prepare. But today I want to remind myself to prepare for those other storms.