Wednesday 18 June 2014

after the flood

I'm starting to realise that to belong to a place means that you feel tender toward it, even if you were not born there. You are concerned for its welfare. When you return to this place after an absence short or great, you are surprised by the feelings it evokes in you. You were not aware that you missed it, but you did.

The little things you notice now, the steady transformation of the hillside from grey to green in the spring time, the wild lillies that wave in the summer breeze, those two motorists whose stopping in the middle of the road causes a traffic jam whilst they catch up with one another (and this doesn’t irritate you because sometimes you do it too), the antics of the neighbours cat in the street, the chiming of the church bell in the dead of night - all  of these familiars are made precious by repetition and knowledge.

And that view from the bridge of the water below, it still brings a gasp of delight. But to feel the pulse of those waters also drags up memories of last year, when the waters were a deluge rather than a trickle. 

Does the fact of having lived through that event - when the waters ripped our valley apart and we were cut off from the rest of the world for three days - does the fact that I too have a memory of that time mean that we now belong here?

Then as now -  a year after the flood - we were all there together on this earth. And we were all left hurting, earth and people combined. Some of us were locals, many of us outsiders. But for the time of the flood, those distinctions were irrelevant. We all felt the same fear and sadness. We were all soothed when the waters subsided and we felt the warm sun on our faces once again. We were all equally a part of this place, because we all lived through the flood.

No comments:

Post a Comment