Saturday, September 3, 2011

The F-Word

If there is one thing people in upstate New York and Vermont didn't want to see right now, it's a flash flood warning. But that's what we have as some thunderstorms with heavy rain threaten our already soaked area.

Hurricane Irene might have been downgraded to a tropical storm when she blew through the Adirondacks, but that didn't stop her from doing serious damage to some of my favorite places. Keene and Keene Valley, where my son and I have spent almost every Wednesday this summer as we explored the surrounding mountains, were under water after the Ausable River jumped its banks and flooded the towns. (Check out the eyewitness video below to see some of the flooding.)

The tiny town of New Russia lost a number of homes to the Boquet River. Route 73, part of the Lake Placid Ironman bike route, was washed out in places and some of the bridges have been compromised.

We were lucky in our town, just some trees down and power outages. But our lake is fed by a river and the lake has risen to spring thaw levels. We had our own historic flooding here at the end of April and we are watching the lake level nervously.

Flash floods would not be welcome.

Looking at the pictures, I can't help but be amazed that water, so necessary for life, can create so much destruction. I am reminded that nature's elements cannot be controlled, nor should they be taken for granted. Humankind tries too hard to overcome nature rather than accept its role as part of it, and that is a dangerous thing sometimes.

Water is associated with the second Chakra, the energetic center of our emotions. We can be calm like a still mountain lake, but we can also rage like floodwaters. Even the most peaceful among us have the capacity for an emotional outburst, under the right circumstances.

We might even use the F-word (which is, of course, flood).
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