First I screamed.
Then I cried.
After all day rain yesterday in the Boston area where I live, I decided to open the basement door just to check to see whether we had gotten a little water in our basement. When contractors built our home over 20 years ago, they brought the foundation up really high because of the high water table in our neighborhood. We can’t stand up in the basement because of that because the ceiling, as a result, is too low. But that meant that it was never supposed to flood. It wasn’t supposed to, but it did!
So I screamed when I opened the door, looked down the stairs and saw years and years of my artwork–handmade cards, jewelry, paintings, canvasses yet to be used–all floating beside discarded baby toys, BBQ tools and party bowls. The shock was unimaginable.
Then I cried.
I cried for all of the work that I knew was ruined.
I cried for all of the work I knew I would have to recreate.
I cried for being so stupid, or lazy, that I would trust putting the work downstairs.
But it was never supposed to flood. Never say never. Ironically, I had been watching news coverage of the flooding in the New England region with a disconnect. Oh, look at those poor people (who are not me, thank goodness). And then, suddenly, I was those poor people. God sent me a reality check today. Things can (and will) happen anytime to anyone. I know that, but reminders keep it fresh and give me an appreciate for what is important. Just moments before I had been staring at the dishes piled up in the sink with evil eyes, thinking, “damn it, I have to do dishes, AGAIN?!” And then suddenly I didn’t care about the damn dishes.
My art! My heart!
My 10-year-old hugged me and said, “Calm down Mommy.” So sweet, that one. He didn’t quite get why I was so upset. As I sloshed through the basement picking up waterlogged containers, fishing out anything that might be saved, I forced myself to look (through tears) on the bright side:
My house wasn’t destroyed like those of so many others. No one was hurt. We are all happy and have each other. And thank God that we have so much to lose.
I’m an artist. I’ll make more.
Besides, by going through everything I got a tour of artwork that I haven’t seen in awhile; got to be thankful for all of the talent that God has given me; realized that this is great incentive to get off my butt and clean out the basement that I should have cleaned years ago. AND I have a perfectly good reason to have a cheeseburger and fries at McDonald’s today. Disasters trump diets.