This past week the sky ripped a seam and rain poured down on Richmond and its soggy 4000 residents. For almost two days straight we lived with a constant percussion accompaniment. Trrrrrrrrr on the roof tops and streets, ping ping ping ping on the wood and pellet stove vent pipes, and the stamp stamp of wet boots on mudroom floors. At my house, Winn-Dixie and Fundy went out into the yard only when they absolutely had to, and in less than two minutes they were back in the house, shaking sheets of water onto the walls.
My street is parallel to the Winooski River--the river that Winn, Fundy and I run along. Between our house and the river is our neighborhood park. During the drum solo downpour, the river overflowed and flooded it. The baseball diamond disappeared. The jungle gym, half submerged in water, was an island in the middle of an ocean. Instead of playing soccer, my son went for a swim. The water was cold, he said, and he was joined by fish from the river. I thought about past floods. (We live in a flood plain after all...my neighbors and I talk about this!) I looked them up. There was the great Vermont flood of 1927. And the Johnstown, PA flood of 1889, which fellow writer Jame Richards wrote about in her wonderful debut novel, Three Rivers Rising.
Even after the rain stopped falling, the fierce sound of the rushing water reverberated on our street. A reminder of the...ummmmm....aliveness of our landscape, perhaps. It moves even when we aren't looking. It speaks even when our ears are tuned elsewhere.