How slender are the threads that connect us to the everydayness of our lives. To the people and places we see every day. To the rhythms and routines of our lives. To our homes, our modes of transportation, our sources of livelihood.

In one brief intense and highly localized storm those threads were abruptly severed for many. Last Saturday, July 30th, just a few miles away from where we live, a sudden, devastating flood destroyed Old Town Ellicott City’s Main Street and damaged the nearby neighborhoods.Here are some of the impacts.

  • Loss of life.
  • Loss or interruption of livelihood.
  • Loss of homes.
  • Loss of vehicles.
  • Extensive damage to the street and buildings along it.

These are the catastrophic effects. Those that can be repaired will take months. For those nearby and not directly affected, there are now smaller losses to cope with. Smaller financial losses, inconveniences and interruptions to routines are less catastrophic and yet are continuing reminders of what has happened to those who live and work in a neighboring town that in practice is part of our own community.

Last  Saturday my husband and I biked down Main Street, something we do most weekends. We were riding a little later in the day than usual, and got caught in the heavy rain that preceded the flood. I was a little uneasy as we approached Main Street. It’s not unusual for the street to flood in a storm. But all was normal around 6:30 pm when we were there – just very wet. The flooding began about an hour later, I believe. I’m still thinking about how easily we could have been there when it happened.

Kevin Rector/Baltimore Sun/via AP

Many political leaders, disaster response teams, local nonprofits and business organizations have mobilized to begin the process of rebuilding and recovery. Small businesses and individuals are donating funds, housing, and volunteer time. Through such actions, the broken threads in time will be rewoven, though the patterns that emerge may be different from what existed before.

I’m doing what I can – contributing financially and watching for volunteer roles I can fill. I’m also planning a fundraiser through Keys to Change, which I’ll let you know about as soon as I have it worked out. In the meantime, I am taking the time to consciously notice and appreciate all that I am so fortunate to have – the everyday experiences that so often aren’t noticed, my own safety and that of my loved ones, a means of earning a livelihood, the warmth and protection of our little home. May you enjoy such blessings, too.

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