Thursday, March 29, 2007

Whangarei Floods

Northland is flooding, so I joined the exodus of people leaving work early, taking over an hour to drive the route that had taken me 20 minutes in the pouring rain a few hours earlier. Crawling along in eerie mid-afternoon twilight, swerving to avoid overflowing gutters, grateful for the visible presence of police and other emergency services, I mused on the word 'burst', brought to mind by the two once-were streams I passed on to get to my car.

As I do these days, I imagined selecting each letter from a case of lead type and that led me to thinking about all the ways I physically know the word 'burst'. My fingers touched typed it onto my knee. Then traced it in print and cursive handwriting. I tried to remember learning to say 'burst' and had a strong sense memory of popping spit bubbles. In what context would I have first heard the word 'burst'? Bursting elusive soap bubbles? The shock of burst balloons banging? Tight tummy bursting from too many biscuits? The grossness of bursting a boil? The awesome power of bursting stream banks?

I made it to the edge of town and then the traffic tailed off and the water on the road really got scary. I was strangely reassured that I was following a school bus (bursting with excited children leaning out the windows into the rain) who led me around, and sometimes through, some stretches of watery road I might not have dared to traverse on my own.

This last photo is my trusty school bus, passing a car that wasn't as lucky as me. Note the flooding all the way to the centre line.


Anonymous said...

you really are in love with words aren't you Meliors
i never really realised just how much until this post
oddly enough it bought tears to my eyes
your sharing the intimacy of that love
is that strange?

rachlovestheweb said...

Hi Meliors,
I hope the floodwaters are receding...where's Moses when you need him to part the waters, eh? (A pesach joke - but of course Noah's probably the better biblical figure for Northland at the moment!)

Anyhoo, i wanted to let you know I have started blogging for my trip...!! And you're one of the few people who i think will actually remember to read it :)