Every day at the breakfast table, we've been reading a poem from Wendell Berry's New Collected Poems. Recently, there was one that talked about a river flooding and the effects that the flood had on the land around the river. It says, in part:
And the water reaches a height
it can only fall from, leaving
the tree trunks wet.
It has made a roof
to its rising, and become
a domestic thing.
It lies down in its place
like a horse in his stall.
Facts emerge from it:
drift it has hung in the trees,
stranded cans and bottles,
new carving in the banks
- a place of change, changed.
It leaves a mystic plane
in the air, a membrane
of history streteced between
the silt-lines on the banks,
a depth that for months
the man will go from his window
down into, knowing
he goes within the reach
of a dark power: where
the birds are, fish
Arounf the same time that we read this poem, there was a rather heavy thunderstorm. In Greensboro, we know the Buffalo Creek tends to flood in heavy rains, so we took the kids over to Latham Park where they could walk beside the creek and see the effects of the most recent storm.
The creek has a very silty bank that was spongy and showed where the creek had cut through the surrounding earth. You can see how the debris from the most recent storm has clumped around the base of the trees, kind of like the poem describes.
Under the Wendover bridge, you could see debris lodged as high as 8 feet above the normal height of the creek!
The kids like walking on the sloped area under the bridge and if you look behind Gabe, you can see even more debris lodged all the way up to the bottom of the bridge! It was very much a reminder of the power that the water can have, just as Berry described at the end of that poem.
Amazingly, we found recent evidence of a beaver!
You could see his teeth marks in the bark of the fallen tree
A nearby pine was dropping some huge cones.
The kids thought this tree was amazing because it had 4 trees (though one had been cut down) growing all together from the same stump. I thought it was amazing because I got them all to smile at the same time! :)