God said to Noah, “I am going to destroy all flesh because the world is full of violence. Build an ark of gopherwood, with rooms inside, three decks, and a door. Cover it inside and out with pitch.” And Noah did exactly as God commanded him (Genesis 6:13–22).
Personally, I think it was wise of Noah to comply with God's request. He could have stood up against God on behalf of his fellow human beings. After all, they can't all have been totally bad can they? They must have had some redeeming features. But if Noah had challenged God's decision he would have also been swept away in the wrathful flood. God didn't believe in democratic debate. By the way, I wonder where Noah got the gopherwood from?
The above biblical diversion simply foreshadows the main purpose of this blogpost - to reflect upon recent flooding in The People's Republic of Yorkshire.
Lots of rain has fallen these past two weeks - associated with two Atlantic storms - Storm Ciara and Storm Dennis. The moors and hills have been drenched and drenched again. And when rain falls on saturated ground where has it got to go? It runs down gullies into brooks and streams and they in turn run into rivers so that the rivers become surging torrents that aim for the open sea, sometimes spreading out on flood plains, breaking through the banks and levees created by Noah's descendants. It's only natural - a geographical tale of yore.
We live on one of Sheffield's hills above the valley of The River Porter. We can never be flooded up here. Even if all the ice on the planet melted we would still be okay though admittedly food supply chains would be severely disrupted.
It is hard to imagine what it would be like to have one's home flooded. Some Yorkshire homeowners have witnessed dirty river water gushing into their houses and rising one, two, three or more feet up their walls.
Life can be challenging enough in ordinary circumstances but imagine having to throw out all your carpets and ground floor furniture, all your kitchen appliances and some of your most treasured possessions. Then when the water subsides you have to deal with mean-spirited insurance companies and have plaster stripped from your walls - back to the bare brick. The place will need drying out and you need to find somewhere else to live.
And in the midst of this trouble you have family and work responsibilities to juggle. It almost doesn't bear thinking about. At times the worry and the stress may become intolerable and perhaps in the middle of it all you will also wonder - Could the flooding return? How will we ever sell this house?
Though I feel for any flood victims, I am rather happy that the closest we will ever get to a flood is a big puddle on the lawn after a particularly heavy rainstorm.