The marks from 35 years ago still stand. The Eel River flooded it banks, cut off towns, and forever changed the landscape. I can still remember the newspaper headlines and television reports from my childhood. My dad went away for several days to provide emergency support. I always wondered what remained.
When you drive by now all you can see are small signs marking various high water locations. The headlines and lives impacted are gone, along with the mud, debris, and sense of crisis. People now live in new buildings on the same locations, seemingly oblivious of the history and potential danger. There are signs if you look for them. The bridges are all new. The winding road is now straighter than ever. The river’s soft edges carry permanent scars.
Metaphorically the same applies to people I know in the corporate world. “When the storm is over, there’s nothing left of the wicked; good people, firm on their rock foundation, aren’t even fazed.” (Proverbs 10.25) Ironically, as the storm fades into history, so do the lessons learned. It is as if the failures of yesterday merely go around in cycles. It is as if we blissfully forget the fatal stabbings of yesterday in the rhetoric of today, with the same consequences bound to repeat themselves yet again with new victims. Do we recognize the high water marks? Are we doomed to fall victims again and then yet again?
I recognize the challenge of battling against the wall of water. The rushing current is full of obstacles and dangers. Unless someone, beginning with an individual, stands up against all odds, people will be hurt, some permanently. High water marks never tell the whole story; however, unless one is willing to take a stand, the tide of destruction and pain will never stop or subside.
I am back in the middle of the peak of an English summer. The idea of a flood is a long ways away. I may think this, but pain and anguish is always here. Are we going to stand and fight?