Many images have gone through my mind over the past four days. Saturday afternoon through Monday morning, I was glued to the TV, watching round-the-clock coverage of the flooding that was happening in Middle Tennessee. I've lived in Nashville for 25 years this August, so this is now "home" to me. It broke my heart to see the waters rising and to see homes surrounded by water and to see familiar landmarks fall victim to the flood. I felt so helpless and wished I could do something to help.
Then on Monday, after the sun came out and I was driving around, trying to go pick up Daniel in one of the flooded areas, the images from the television became more real. Water had receded in many places where I was, but I saw parks and school yards that looked more like lakes, with playground equipment barely sticking up above the water. I saw debris and mud, road barricades and utility workers.
It was on Monday that I started to get some other images imbedded in my mind. These were more hopeful images. The sunshine helped put everything in a new light (pun intended) and people were able to get out and start doing things to help people in need. I saw grocery shoppers buying water, mops, and other supplies--maybe for themselves, but also likely to use for helping others. My favorite image of that day was getting to see my son's face after he finally got back from his dad's house after being flooded in. He had experienced the adventure of evacuating the house and has his own images of the devastation of the flood waters and the compassion of others who came to help with cleanup.
Tonight I have still more images in my mind. These are images of people who volunteered time and effort to help with cleanup efforts. I saw lots of emails in my work inbox, saw people literally mobilized in a matter of minutes, and saw people willing to do whatever tasks were needing to be done. I saw trash bags of muddy clothes come from flooded homes. I saw clothes drying on the church lawn. I saw faces of friends who stopped by to see what needed to be done.
I thankfully did not have damage to my personal home or property, but the images of the May Day Flood of 2010 and its aftermath will not be quickly forgotten in my mind.