I thought of the Stillwater River that defined the south and west border of Joyland Farm in Miami County where I moved after a tornado devastated our Greene County farm many years ago. The river fascinated me in my pre-teen years and, at times frightened me.
Usually the river lived up to its name, barely seeming to flow, lying still, a shimmering reflective surface of the rocks and trees along the banks. At other times after torrential rains the river flooded its banks with roaring force, a grey/brown swirling phenomena. It attacked the banks and lower fields taking with it anything not deeply rooted or part of a solid mass, altering the river’s path, eating away some of the farm. After these storms much had disappeared that we expected to be there.
Like the storm-ravaged banks of the Stillwater River our “normal” has been taken away and change will be long term. We are reminded of our vulnerability and it’s hard to see the future through the lens of the past. Yet as an optimist I suspect that better times along with much improvement is on the way. We will perhaps see more clearly what is essential or not. We will be better prepared for the next storm.