Sunday, November 9, 2008


I stopped watching the rain gage and started watching the flood gage. The river got unexpectedly high . I was “islandized”, the house and drive totally surrounded by a foot or more of water. Pumpkins floated and dahlias sunk. There is nothing that will clean and dirty a garden faster than a flood. All the plastic pots that I wasn’t quick enough to collect have floated “down stream” and braided in a tangle of weeds, grass, branches and miscellany like some 80’s environmental sculpture. Beautiful in a very un-gardening kind of way. The tall weeds were flattened by the flow, leaves puddled in corners. The dogs can’t go out without becoming “mud-hens”; the cats stay in and sleep. But the birds seem celebratory. Great flocks of juncos and robins, even doves, pick through the debris with renewed vigor, like shoppers responding to a “ new shipment”.
But what was most spectacular was the silence.
The road closed, excluded what little traffic travels by our house this time of year. The simple slosh, like a hush made one feel far out at sea with land just visible. The fire burned bright in the stove. I cooked a soup and read a book about medieval cloister gardens and imagined myself in another place and time like I often did as a child. What a luxury to be trapped on an island o if only for a few hours.