This isn’t the first time I’ve posted photos of our deck in “spring,” the table, grill and railing heaped with snow. But it’s the first time I’ve posted them while a river rages a couple miles in the background.
So many scenes in the past couple days have been surreal, incongruent: a flood and blizzard in the same day seems unusually harsh, nearly inconceivable. And yet, people suffer harsh realities all over the world, day in and day out. Perhaps instead of, why us, we might ask, why not? While I might even do my small part to relieve the sufferings of those outside my immediate world, in human terms, it is all relative. At the end of the day, the most urgent matters are those right here at home.
Do we stay or go? What is the prudent thing to do right now? That is the question foremost on my mind today. By tomorrow, our river level is expected to be the highest ever in recorded history. If we stay, we could be sitting ducks in a vast, unpredictable pond. What’s a mother duck to do? Do I gather up my ducklings and flee now, while the pond is still relatively contained, or wait it out?
It’s a conundrum easily settled from the outside. Whenever our Mississippi relatives are hit with the prospects of a hurricaine, the answer is always so obvious: Go, go now! Pack a bag and hit the road! But when you’re in the middle of such a situation, the solution is muddled. My gut says to go, but my husband, as protector, is inclined to stay behind to keep a watch on our home and his business. He’s encouraging us to go without him. I understand the thought process, but it makes me feel uneasy that we might be split up. However, my mother instincts are strong right now, and so I’ve made preliminary arrangements to leave in the morning, unless a call for immediate evacuation comes through and we need to go earlier. A friend who endured the Grand Forks flood in 1997, now living in Minnesota, has offered us safe harbor. At this point, it’s an offer I can’t refuse.
The rest of the day will be taken up with final preparations, and though I might be away from my computer more often today, I will be checking back. In fact, Lenten considerations aside, I’ve decided to open up my comments again. I don’t see any reason to shut out anyone at this point who might wish to get in touch, and this could be one more way to do so.
To those out in the trenches, to those parents in homes wondering and waiting, to those most vulnerable, to those on the road heading toward safety, prayers for you all. And peace to all the rest.