|The cairn Bob built for Janine Pommy Vega in our woodlot|
The next morning we rose early as usual, it was our wedding anniversary, and it was raining heavily and it only became heavier. We could hear the river rising, then roaring. The roaring part concerned us enough to go have a look, and that’s when we saw a river we’ve never seen in our lives. It was no longer a river, it was a water mass grown up and out of its form, speeding into the woods, rising up and over the road, gobbling the road, and rising many feet by the minute, so it could be — there was nothing that was going to stop it. It was only raining heavier. We were in rain gear following the river along the higher edges of the road, and the river was now a tidal wave. Maybe fourteen feet higher than we ever knew it. We met a neighbor we also never knew we had wandering like the young father he is asking us if the river would reach his house. It turned out I built this house decades ago and tried to assure him, not knowing anything myself, that the river wouldn’t get to where he was, huddled upstairs with a family. Rain pelting off our faces. River louder and louder, overpowering the woodland, going anywhere it damn well pleased. As humans, visitors to planet earth of land and water, we simply got to watch and wait.