No greater harmony
By Itane Vero
It's not the flood I'm fearing. The flood will look after herself. I mean, if a flood is an act of god (and in my opinion, most floods are an act of god), what can we poor creatures do about it? Start a litigation process? Send hideous messages to news sites? Yell at the sky and scream: man overboard?
No, it's not the flood, not the massive amount of waters, not the stream of mud, not even the heavy rainfall and the gusts of wind. Maybe it's the inconvenience. The awkwardness of having the carpet soaked wet, of having no power, of sleeping at the attic while the roof is leaking, shaking, shivering and quivering.
To me the flood is about the choice how to deal with it. After the first days (the days that it became pretty clear that the rain won't stop any time soon, that the dykes won't held against the rising tide, that the meadows become soggy as marshlands), the citizens of my village start packing their cars, their vans, trucks, trailers, bikes, motor cycles, strollers and scooters. They stacked computers, cloths, food, jewellery, books, keepsakes, old photos.
From my window, I have seen my neighbours, my relatives, my family members, my chess friends, my political enemies preparing to leave the village. And rightly so. The streets already got flooded, the basements were already filled with mud.
And I didn't know what to do. Every now and then one of my acquaintances stopped by and urged me to be prepared to leave, to flee from this wringing wet hell. And I reassured them that I was aware of the danger, that I was about finishing my packing (in reality I just sat down and did nothing. Was I waiting? Did I expect that the others would come and take me with them? Like a child who still needs support and assistance?).
Finally, after a few restless days and night, I have figured out why I'm not in a big hurry to leave yet. It's the flood, it's the rising water. They want to teach me something. But what?
I'm not sure but I believe I'm the only living person left in the village. People who weren't able to flee in time have been picked up by helicopters. I saw the villagers waiting on their roofs, powerless as ailing birds. I saw them getting rescued. How relieved they looked, how deeply they believed that they were safe. But for how long? Who can escape the flood in the end?
A thought crosses my mind. What if the flood is a test? From the powers that be, from nature, from the wishful gods, from fate. Isn't it that he case in every live to face a pivotal point, a vital period in which we have to show what's all about? Which virtues will withstand the ordeal, which desires will thwart tribulation?
Maybe I'm here at my attic waiting for an Ark? As when in times when everything looks desperate and forlorn, a titanic wooden coffin will appear to rescue me. And that I will be hailed as the true believer, I will acknowledged as the new Noah.
In the meantime, the flood has risen up till my attic. I'm sitting on my bed while the water is under me, above me, besides me. I feel like a fish but in a air bubble. Actually, it's the same bubble I was in when my world was still dry and passable. I's the familiar bubble of thoughts, of considerations, of dreams and desires. I agree, there's not much left today. But maybe that's what this is all about. Which choice shall I make? What have I learned in the past years? What kind of wisdom will survive?
And just when my blankets, my mattress get soaking wet, I decide to inflate the rubber boat that's on one the shelves. I open the window, to let the boat float on the merciless stream. I take all the last bit of food with me, some dry cloths. And then I hesitate. What will I take with me for this last, decisive journey. My phone, a map, my laptop, my baby photos?
I grasp a booklet (the meditations of Marcus Aurelius). And while I got steered by the subtle waves of the existing current, I manage to read a few words. To love only what happens, what was destined. No greater harmony.