It is located in Turkey, this Mount Ararat. This is the spot where we read in Genesis, that Noah, and his family, and the ark finally came to rest after being tossed by the waves for 40 days and 40 nights. This mountain looks majestic and beautiful, and looms large, and triumphant.. quite the spot to land, when the waters had receded, and the dove brought back the olive branch. This olive branch was a sign that there was new life to be lived, new adventures to be had, and rebuilding to be done.
40 days and nights is a lot of rain that would fall in that period of time. I thought I had seen a lot of moisture from the heavens in Constance Bay, Ontario.. but for 40 days.. yikes…I can’t even fathom how much water that would be.
How did that family on the ark not get so depressed, and grumpy, and despairing about what was happening just outside their big floating, animal filled water- boat -motor -home of sorts?
I believe this story even if it appears impossible, and astounding, and really hard to digest. All the people were destroyed, but for Noah and his family. It was just them, 2 of every kind of animal on the earth, and they were surrounded by the graveyard of every living thing drowned in the flood waters beneath their vessel on the waves.
I had this awful immediate horrific response when i looked down my basement stairs at my flooded home a week or so ago.
The very foundation of my home is my basement was sprouting leaks; the cinder blocks had small creeks bursting from them. The cement basement floor cracks were bubbling, and opening up in a foreboding, and eerie fashion. The gurgling sound, of water flowing into my home from outside as I slept on my loveseat upstairs kept me awake and on watch.. it was like I was living in my own horror flick.
It felt like scenes from The movie, “ The Titanic.”
How could this even be possible? The day before we had been able to keep the water level in the basement to 2-3”, but that night, when we decided to shut the generator down, that was keeping 5 sump pumps working continually… I was not prepared for the visual truth of the watery grave of my earthly belongings. There must be at least 5’ of cold, dark, still water down there.
My neighbor Don, who has been the most incredibly consistent, supportive, and helpful neighbor was in tears, when I saw him that day.
” I tried Jill,” he said brokenly.
” I know you did Don, you gave a heroic effort to help me, and I’m so grateful.”
Don just shook his head, unable to find the words of comfort. His acknowledgement, and kindness were a beacon to me. I have never had a neighbor who was so selflessly willing to lend a hand, in order to save my house. I will never forget this. This is humanity at its best.
There is a restaurant that is also my neighbor, and it’s called appropriately, “ The Lighthouse.” When I moved here, it spoke to me that it would be a place of safety, of community , of acceptance. It has been. I went and ate breakfast there, and bought toilet paper before I had the chance to go to the bigger grocery store. I was welcomed with open arms, and the chef there even invited me to play darts in the woman’s league on Tuesday nights. When I had difficulty with my car, I stopped in there, and a mechanic who was in the kitchen came and helped me figure out what was wrong with the automobile . These people in the Bay, are friendly, helpful, and always willing to roll up their shirts and lend a hand.
This lighthouse is now flooded. It is heartbreaking. I’m told they are rebuilding, fixing, and will reopen once again when the water retreats.
This great mountain in Turkey, named Ararat stands a majestic 3,896 meters tall, and is considered to be sacred. I inadvertently misspelled sacred, and wrote “scared .” Interesting how one change of the placement of a consonant creates such an all together totally opposite word.
Sacred and scared… can the two words so closely spelled be linked in a way that I have not yet discovered?
I do feel scared, and uncertain about what comes next. I’m told that I cannot pump out my basement until the ground water recedes, and the river levels decrease. It could be weeks. This does not even seem real..but at the same time these belongings that are mine, are sacred to me… but I must let them go… they are lost.
My friend Kathy, her daughter Brooke, and I put plastic, and tape over the basement opening in an effort to keep the moisture contained. I hope this will work..to protect my main floor, which has been kept safe from water damage thus far, but I don’t know.
It looks like a tomb…
Brooke commented that…
“ maybe Jill this is your past, and this is where you leave it, this is where it’s buried… so you can move on from here?”….
Wisdom from out of the mouth of babes.. Brooke is the sweetest girl, who is 18, beautiful, kind, talented, and hard working. It was an eye opening experience for her to see the state of this area after the flood.
I have been reading a lot about joy this morning. There are people in my life that bring me joy.. Joy is infectious, and It’s a good thing to be reminded of. Joy does not depend on your circumstances, it is a state of being. It is there in spite of where you are, and it cannot be taken away, unless you allow it.
I sit on the front porch, in an Adirondack chair , the warmth of the morning sun, drapes me with its light feeling like fingers, attached to hands, and arms, that are hugging me. I need a hug, perhaps several. The warmth of sunshine after weeks of cold, rain, and too much water, feels like a welcome balm to my soul.
I’m not at home anymore.. I had to get away.. I needed some perspective. I needed to be with my sons, and I think they needed to be with me too. I had to remember what was really important, to reconfigure this trauma, and to be present with what was truly important, my people, my family.
The birds chirp out their contentment, and pleasure at the welcome of a new day.
My coffee grows cold beside me, as I read, and ponder all of the events in this last two weeks. The whole perception of my house has changed. A flood did that… I can’t yet find the sense in this… I don’t understand.. I struggle to find a minuscule amount of reason to these happenings.. I’m stuck.. treading water.. or perhaps more .. I’m “ drown proofing.”
“ Saturate yourself with joy, because this is where love resides.”………..
I phrased this sentence this morning, after realizing that more rain has fallen on my already water laden home, and more is expected to fall. This is far beyond my control.. and there is an almost surreal comfort in this acknowledgment. When your hands are tied, you are helpless, and all of your striving must cease, because it just exhausts you… it accomplishes not a thing, except to further entangle you in a set of circumstances that further attempts to pull you towards its gaping mouth like a hungry octopus.
Prayer.. again, and ongoing, for wisdom, to sit in the sacredness of this moment, and to know that I am being held, even though I feel like I am in somewhat of a straight jacket.
I know and I believe that I’m in a life jacket that helps me to float only if I keep my eyes on Jesus, and not my circumstances. I need to occupy my mind with other things , as I try not to give in to the other word.. the “scared” of the future, of the cost, of the clean up, of the not knowing what to do next?
Sitting still in the “ eye of the storm,” feels unnatural, and yet there is a strange holding, and a comfort. I am attempting to take all of this in, and make wise decisions , and strategic ones, which leads me to be strangely secure in this space all at the same time.
There is a curious contentment of sitting in your row boat, oars strangely missing, but laying back, and accepting your ability to just float.. let the boat do what it was designed to do… keep you a float.. Unless this life boat of sorts springs a leak… .. I may as well just rest in the sunlight… because stressing over what comes next accomplishes not a single thing.
I have a big antique oar which hangs over my window in the living room, with a sign that says “ deep water” below it. The irony of these two items being in my home at such a time as this , is not lost on me.
I watch the news casts, and see some of my neighbors testimonials, and footage of the destruction of their homes, and my heart breaks anew. These people will rebuild, and their hope and resilience will carry them through. They are strong, and determined, and so kind.
It is so different to be the one accepting the charity and help of complete strangers. This is a big learning experience.
Community is where it’s at.. connection is imperative. “Love is a verb.” I believe I may have stolen that last quote fro Brene Brown.