Fieldstone Farms Flood UpdatePosted: May 6, 2010
May 2: My feet submerged in four inches of brown river water, a yellow slicker wrapping me, rain pounding on my hood, I sloshed along the sidewalk I have used every day for 15 years, and I saw her, and her expression said it all. Just inside the glass door, she sat on the third stair, her feet on the first, her torso slumped, and she looked out at the deluge coming down, at the flood creeping toward her house one-half inch every fifteen minutes, and she was waiting in defeat, because that’s all she could do, because like the man in the burgundy truck in the adjoining flooded-out neighborhood said, “Hope won’t do any good, prayer won’t do any good, it’s going to happen.” She faced the threat of losing everything — her possessions, the investment of her house, the home of her family. She had no flood insurance to recover from the catastrophe that lapped slowly, mockingly toward her threshold.
I knew this feeling. My neighbors knew. We all stood and kept watch.
May 6: The flood waters have receded, but left in their wake dead brown landscape and mud everywhere and lives awry, struggling to find a way, and those who are whole wanting to help.
This morning I walked the trail between my Wimbledon and Summer Haven. The northern edge of Summer Haven is undergoing massive cleanup, tear out, replace, and repair. Duct work, sheetrock, carpet, dumpsters…fill yards and street.
The street has a coating of river silt. You can see the brown flood line on bushes and trees and even HVAC units.
A rose bush fights to flower for Mother’s Day, its leaves lost to brown from water damage.
Beside the sidewalk and above the drainage ditch and across the grassy field from the creek that came to call on its neighbors, a magnolia tree stands, and in spite of the devastation all around it and the houses that are in ruin, this tree is poised to bloom — hundreds of delicate white silky flowers will open up any day now.
Maybe this can represent hope.