It was raining. Again.
Truth be known, I was enjoying the sound of the rain on the roof. Then there was a shout from the basement.
“What is going on? There is water coming in under the door!”
I rush downstairs to see a line of water creeping across my new laminate floor. Turns out, my perimeter drain has failed and water is backing up. The drain is plugged, but the water coming off the roof does not know that. The rain continues to fall.
Three hours later the blockages are cleared — there were two of them — and the water is free to run again. The rain, of course, stops.
For three hours, five people worked frantically to manage a flood while the day marched on. In some ways it didn’t seem fair. About the only gifts I could see at the time were the “family time” we were having and the knowledge that my hair goes curly after being rained on.
Or is there more?
In the rush to be helpful my three teenage boys forgot about electronic toys, sibling rivalry and eating. Carol, my honey, organized the adventure inside while I worked to resolve things outside. As a team, we worked together to keep a problem from becoming a disaster. Together, we were able to accomplish something that, faced alone, would have had a very different outcome.
At the end of it all was a sense of accomplishment and pride. Odd feeling to attach to pumping water out of the basement and watching it flow down a drainage ditch. Or was it?
I had trusted Carol and the boys to manage inside while they had counted on me to resolve things outside. There was no complaining about who was working harder than who. No talk about being tired or cold, although I am sure they were both.
We did what had to be done. Yes, carpet got wet. Yes, the dog tracked water upstairs. Yes, now there is more laundry to be done. Yes, my new flooring is a mess. However, at the end of it all was a sense that we had managed well. We had relied on each other and found out again that we could depend on one another when it mattered.
Later, as I sat in my chair having a coffee and celebrating family, the flood reminded me of those other “floods” of our lives: Loss. Separation. Grief. Suffering. Times when reality reduces our living to the bare essentials. Times when events force us to face the starkness of life. Are we alone in this journey called life?
When the water broke free and gushed out, the rain stopped. The sun broke through. As I sat in my chair I remembered that, if we have our eyes open, we find we are surrounded by moments that remind us we are not alone.
Reverend Wade Allen ministers to the North Vancouver Island Anglican/United community in Port McNeill, Port Alice and Port Hardy. firstname.lastname@example.org.