In the last 24 hours, Indiana (specifically, areas surrounding Indianapolis) received just under 10 inches of rain. It's a new state record. I've never seen anything quite like it--torrential, constant, unrelenting rain. I awoke half a dozen times in the wee hours of Monday morning, wondering sleepily, "Is it still raining that hard?" Yesterday we watched the water rise. It swallowed our dock and made its way toward the house. The dogs were nervous. Neighbors wandered about in raincoats and t-shirts, pulling logs from the water, shaking their heads, watching the rain. Cars stopped short of venturing into what could be fast-moving deep overflows across nearby roads. At one point our small community was an island, for an hour or two, while the creeks and drainage ditches struggled to accomodate the sudden outpouring of abundant water.
Everything changed in those few hours. We went out only if we had to. We allowed more time. We knew it was likely there would be impassable roads, roadblocks, and traffic backups. We were ready for anything. And when it came time to go, prayers were said and hugs were tight. "Be safe," and "Call me when you get there," and "Don't take any unnecessary chances," replaced our regular afternoon goodbyes.
What struck me, though, was how grateful we were. Grateful and slow. Glad simply just to be dry, to be safe, to be able to care for each other. Someone who might otherwise be irritated at me for being late was now simply glad I made it there. Pressure I might have otherwise put on myself to go to the store and cook a big family dinner faded to the comfort of homemade potato soup and BLTs. We made do, because we remembered what was important. Care, concern, prayer, and compassion ruled.
Today we've got the mess, but we've also got the memory. We know what's important. We instinctively return to it in those times when our priorities are once again made priorities in our lives. I can see why into every life a little rain must fall. In fact, I think a good flood now and again (Indiana, not Genesis-style) is good for the soul. :) k