Thursday, May 1, 2014

I had mentally slated to slap up my typical calendar post today, and then I remembered today is the four-year anniversary to the torrential floods that hit Nashville in 2010. While I didn't live here just yet, I was visiting ST that weekend, and I remember exactly how it felt, watching ever bit of it unfold. The scariest and most baffling part of the entire ordeal is that it never felt the least bit threatening. There was no mandatory scramble to safety, there were no sheets upon sheets of rain--the pitter-patter of the rainfall was delicate--yet constant--over the entire weekend.

We hunkered down, taking refuge from what seemed to be a typical dreary weekend, and finally on Saturday, mustered up the desire to get out to grab something to eat. I don't recall what we were hungry for, or what we ended up settling on. I don't remember the roads we navigated. What I remember are the slowly rising pools of water in each of the neighborhoods we passed. The closed roads at every other turn. And viewing it all through the beading of water on the windshield, a never-ending sprinkling that didn't at all seem uncharacteristic of a standard springtime rain shower. I remember the knot in the pit of me as I saw the people, gathering on the streets to stare solemnly at their submerged porches and vehicles. Undoubtedly, one of the most catastrophic elements of a flood must be the utter and agonizing helplessness you'd feel, just watching murky rainwater slowly seep into your home, ravaging the memories it took years to build.

We didn't know the depth of the devastation until pictures started rolling across newscasts. Firsthand, we saw roads inundated, yards become small lakes literally overnight, and downtown buildings taunted by the rising waters... the most damaged area we witnessed were some of the downtown streets, completely washed over. And this was on Saturday afternoon--the peak of the disaster hadn't yet unfolded. It got worse.

And yet, most people across the country don't know a ton about the floods that hit Music City. No, it wasn't a Katrina, or even a Sandy. But I'm a firm believer in that the main reason behind the "lack" of information is the steadfast resolve of this town. The drive to help out one another. The threads of resilience that are innately woven into the population of this wonderful town blow my mind.

We look out for our own.*

*(I can say "we" because my heart was very much planted here in 2010).

From the crushing blow of disaster, a city-wide motto was born: We Are Nashville.

A mere three words that instantly remind every local of that dreaded weekend in 2010, and how far we've come. And how far we'll go.

This video is the best representation I've seen of the overall stretch of how badly the city fared. And it is just heartbreaking.

Y'all know how much I love Texas. But being in Nashville--calling Nashville home--is just so special to me. I can't put into words what it means to me to be a tiny peg in the great big grid of this loving, beautiful, determined and devoted town.

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