Flood warnings for the entire state, the radio blared. I look around, the piles of snow linger only in the shelter of dense woods. “No danger here,” I think to myself, “All safe.”
Later, in the evening while I sit quietly reflecting on my day, I’m embarrassed by my casual reaction to the warning. In reality, lives and property are at risk and considering the extended winter we endured, the snow melt could create some long lasting issues for Maine folks.
When I was growing up, I never got used to houses regularly being swept out to sea. Undaunted owners would rebuild in the same spot and certainly face recurring losses. Many years ago geologist built a jetty that created problems that no one could imagine. The little seaside village where my grandfather built a family home has been disappearing bit by bit. No one seems to know how to fix it.
Place. It is important. Through the years houses change hands, landscape shifts or is altered due to weather or man. Yet memories are framed by place. The tiny strawberries I picked in the lot next door where a house now sits, I can still taste. Bringing my once stained fingers to my nose, I can smell the sweetness. I hear the rattle of the windows in the first house that my husband and I shared in Otter Creek; we began our lives together there. Place evokes memory.
Flood warnings for the entire state. I will always pray that our memories of place remain intact.