Thursday, March 29, 2007
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.