Hurricane Harbor

A writer and a tropical muse. A funky Lubavitcher who enjoys watching the weather, hurricanes, listening to music while enjoying life with a sense of humor and trying to make sense of it all!

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Tragedy in Tennessee.. Grand Ole Opry Flooded and Closed

Among the many victims of the flooding in Tennessee is the Grand Old Opry itself. And, suddenly a flood far away hits home, the reality of this disaster for many as this is a landmark that so many of us know and love so well.

This paragraph from this excellent article says it all:

"For most fans, the biggest concern is the Opry's wooden stage, which has supported everyone from Hank Williams to Taylor Swift. The circle of floorboards at the stage's centre was transported to the Opry House from the show's former home, Ryman's Auditorium. Ironically, several Opry gigs have been moved to Ryman's this week, with others taking place at another previous Opry site, the War Memorial Auditorium."

The wooden floor is flooded, the waters will recede ... then we will rebuild, that is the way we live and roll with the punches but this was one heart wrenching punch in the gut.

Thousands have had to flee from flooding, evacuating their homes and businesses and the death toll is climbing as I write this.. people are missing still who have either found safety or are lying dead beneath the flood waters.

And, yet we are struck by the flooding of the landmark, soul of Country Music... the Grand Ole Opry being a flood victim. Why? I suppose because music touches our soul and a place like this is to many of us a house of worship, music makes the soul dance and such a place is bonded into the hearts of music lovers everywhere and we all share tears for such a tragedy in Tennessee.

Always amazes me when people who live in cities that are not on the hurricane coasts or in the heartland where tornadoes dance across the prairies and say how they live where it is safe. Safety is an illusion as there is no real safety from a natural disaster. Whether is is tropical weather or flash floods or wild fires or a random tornado touching down or lightning striking and killing someone in a sudden Spring Storm... weather is unpredictable and safety is an illusion.

At least with a hurricane we seem to get days of warning for a possible storm surge that can wash away our coastal homes. We know tornadoes touch down in feeder bands. We watch as tropical waves leave the coast of Africa and wait to see if they will wash up on our shores.

And, yet... this seemed to come out of nowhere. Historic flooding...

We think we can control nature, we dam up rivers, we build watersheds and rely on the National Weather Service or our local TV weather reporters to warn us if it is going to rain or not rain. We rely on flow charts and past high water marks to show us where we are safe and flooding won't wash away our lives.

The problem with weather is... our record of weather is a drop in a pan, a trickle of water compared to the river of history. And, rivers flood...

Weather is day to day and our record of it is weak, over time and many times the area we know as the city of Nashville as flooded and yet we have no archived history of it because no one lived there and no one sang there except birds in the forest and native tribes who probably knew more about the area from legends handed down by elders to the younger people in the tribe.

We like to control things... events, rivers, weather... yet we are all still learning and we are blind to the ravages of high water marks before written history. Way before Loretta Lynn and Patsy Cline ever sang songs from the Grand Ole Opry ... way back before the United States of America ever existed... flash floods and strong Spring rains flooded this beautiful part of the country... we are still flying blind when it comes to history and the real historic floods that happened thousands of years ago when only birds sang in Tennessee.

My heart goes out to everyone who has lost family members, property and to those who all have a little piece of the Grand Ole Opry alive in their heart.

They will move the show, they will rebuild... lives cannot be rebuilt ...

Songs will be written, lives will be lived, Nashville will go on... and we will have a new bar to set for what we know as the high water mark and historic flooding..

And... just remember... they say the Mississippi River ran backwards when the New Madrid Fault shook a relatively quiet part of the world on December 16th, 1811. What will happen to the rivers and damn the next time the New Madrid Quakes?

Control and safety is an illusion.... and we live in a state of denial that that illusion can be washed away in minutes...

Much was washed away in Nashville this week and other nearby areas...

I had a picnic yesterday by a dam... walked on it at sunset and watched the sun go down behind a ridge of pine trees, it was beautiful and yet I felt sad when I looked down at the small river trickling below the dam. Always bothers me, what was once a big river is no more.. just a trickle for people who want to canoe. We like to control things, it makes us feel smarter, more powerful and more ...well in control. And, we love to get away from our problems and listen to music and let our soul fly on the notes of angels like the late and always great Patsy Cline.

For my brother Jay and his "friend" Judd ;)

A real tragedy hits a place with so many memories.

Besos Bobbi... I may watch Coal Miners Daughter today... while filling out forms, the never ending flood of forms for kids and watching the weather and the news...


At 11:58 AM, Blogger Jay said...

Thanks :) - That was an excellent piece of writing, Bobbi. Very fluid, -no pun intended. Wow, what a great combination of weather, history and sentiment.
- Jay

At 2:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i'm from port alberni canada and i Can't Wait to see it to re-open its my dream to go there and lisn to country music and feel the history


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