We have a pond in wet years, and a deep depression in dry years. On three occasions in fifteen years, we went from mud hole or dry depression to full to overflowing in a few days. This time, unlike the other two, we have had three feet of water flowing over the dam off and on for five days.
It has some unexpected benefits. The pond below us was covered in duckweed a week ago, and now every bit of green has been washed over that dam by turbid brown water.
I only mention that because we have been glued to storm watch channels with a bag packed to go down into the basement for three of the last seven nights. I only mention that because, to this moment, we have gotten off terribly fortunate. We have watched on the news as houses slid into roaring rivers, tornadoes have ripped apart homes and lives, hail has destroyed cars and roofs, and — we breathed sighs of relief. It was not us.
There is something terribly, amazingly human there.
In WW2, the Germans bombed London. They rained down water line busting bombs, and then rained down incendiary bombs. They calculated to the millions how London would be a demoralized wasteland for years. Malcolm Gladwell chronicled the profoundly different effect that they reaped. Many, many more people “survived” the bombings, lived through “near misses”, and were so surprised at their resilience, that they fought fires, volunteered to rebuild and defend in countless ways.
The bombings enraged London, but did not defeat them. The bombings stiffened their resolve.
Countless people face terrible flooding and worse tonight, and I have a small prayer. That those who survive, that those who come through, that those who are terribly close to near misses are surprised by their resilience. There may be no one to be angry at, except God, but there will be many who wake up bone weary tomorrow — yet, undefeated. A strange, unasked for gift.