Saturday, November 28, 2009

November 28: Rain

In our little house the sound of water is a constant. The river outside pours past, swollen now with the rain that has fallen heavily the past few days. Last night as I tried to sink into sleep, the rain drummed so loudly on the roof that I couldn't help but wonder if some large, agile animal were doing a dance in our attic. Knowing such a dance was impossible in our attic space full of blown insulation was small comfort for my insomniac anxiety. I could hear the rush of river, roar of wind, rain pattering on the propane tanks outside the bedroom window, and instead of feeling cozy and warm in my bed, I felt threatened within our home's thin walls.

I wondered if we would hear the emergency whistle above the noise of the storm if the Seabright Dam just upriver were to break. We live on a bluff above the still-visible flood plain of the river's former flow. But my childhood nightmares of giant waves washing away the house resurrected when we moved down river of two dams. As I lie in the dark listening to rain, my mind often wanders upriver to the body of Lake Megunticook--all that water just waiting there in the basin between Bald Mountain and Mount Megunticook--a barely restrained animal that, if it really exerted its full power, could go anywhere it wanted, fill every crevice of this town.

But those are night thoughts. This morning the white of the sky echoes the color of the wet shed and the foam churned up by the river as it rolls over rocks that are usually exposed. Chickadees and titmice slip from branch to bare branch like falling leaves. The lawn is an intricate brown tapestry of leaves. Moss on the north side of the shed roof is vivid green, flourishing in this moisture and unseasonable warmth. Slim bodies of trees sway in the wind. The rain seems to have stopped for now. I contemplate venturing outside for one last November run, but lean toward the lights and warmth of the gym.

Upriver the lake
lies silent, power contained.
But here--churn and foam.

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