I want to say something now to the F/M community and all our comrades – before we dive head first as a community into our third annual flood fight (we really do need to stop meeting like this folks). In the weeks to follow we will all be holding our breath a bit with every warm day and every drop of rain, but the important thing is appreciating that we do so as a community.
There are a hundred different reasons that folks will tell you have made our area’s efforts successful in the past when faced with such potentially dire situations. Folks in my area of work (emergency management) can point to structures, systems, policies and programs that they believe deserve note in regard to successful flood fights. While I concur that many of these things have improved our odds of success I know that the key ingredient – the one thing that cannot be put in place by a bureaucracy or its partners – is the real key in these fights: the strength, will and determination of the community as a collective.
I know many of you are weary – I too am weary of our annual flood event – someone needs to dis-invite Mother Nature from this party or get her a boyfriend – or something. I know that the last thing you want to do having come through a harsh winter is face a warming rife with angst – again. Alas, that is the reality we face as we move through February and into March.
Yet – amazingly – even after all this community has faced on this front over the past two years, it will again rise with the same level of vigor and determination that it has in prior events. It will stand together in the creation and deployment of defenses, in the shouldering of loss and in the march to resilience. The strength of this community is the ingredient that has made the flood-fighting efforts as successful as they have been – remember that – it is more about our people than anything else. Which is why, even as I go out some days to sub-zero temperatures and ask myself what in the heck I am thinking living in a state where zero degrees with sunshine can be considered a nice day, I stay year in and year out.
You can’t find this everywhere folks – not every community rises up like this one does again and again. So I say today, before our days become consumed with discussions of the river levels, snow melt and inches of precipitation – thank you for who you are and what you do to make this flood fight a community endeavor…you are incredible.
And if any of you know of any good matchmaking ideas for Mother Nature – please do let me know. She is a tad old, but she is still quite feisty…but let’s just ease her into the dating process…gradual warming is good.
Day five hundred and eighty-six of the new forty – obla di obla da