April’s snows finally stopped. May’s skies cleared and the world warmed. Every plant in the yard that had been quietly drumming its roots under the snow like impatient fingers on the counter burst open in green leaf and colorful blossom as if they had only a few weeks to get on with the work of fertility.
Turned out, the vegetation was right. The North Atlantic jet stream which had been wondering all over the map in April popped back out of its assigned track and started sweeping great currents of moisture from the Mediterranean Sea around Eastern Europe and toward the Alps in a grand counter-clock wise sweep. Turns out, the Alps are more then just a place to go skiing. They are tall enough to serve as a gigantic block for a sky river trying to return to it’s Mediterranean source. The water had to find another way to get back to the sun warmed beaches which meant dropping down to take the land route. Also known as the Danube River and its watershed.
I’m an Oregonian born and raised girl. I am not unexperienced in the ways of days and days of rain but this was something I’d not seen before. Where I come from, it might rain hard for an hour. Maybe two and then it goes back to drizzle, sprinkle, or just gray. This was about five straight days and nights of rain at passing thunderstorm cell rates.
It was oppressive. It was worrisome. It was depressive. It was constant drumming of water on the roof on the umbrella, on everything. At least we have a good roof and a house set up on high enough ground and we live in a city that is very good at keeping all that water in the river. We’re also significantly upstream in the watershed which helps. Downstream is not going as well. Friends took extra hours to get back from Salzburg on Sunday because the freeway and the trains were shut down by the water. I’m sure you’ve seen the photos of Passau. And now folks further downstream are bracing for the flood pulse. If you’ve ever torn out dry wall or sprayed bleach on the wood frames then you know some of what these people are facing.
Two weeks ago we were in California and Oregon/British Canada. While we were in California, we looked around and knew that home was no longer located in Santa Rosa. At least not at the moment. We even parked outside the house and looked at it and …. felt nothing. But we saw friends whom we love and were glad to see. There were more friends we wanted to see but didn’t have the time in this too short of a trip. We want to see everyone again. They bring us such good gifts. We don’t know what comes next in the grand adventure but In the meantime we’ll keep clean sheets on the guest beds here in Munich.
So now we know: home is here.