A mile in their shoes

flooding 035

We didn’t have a white Christmas, the weather has been mild and exceptionally wet. The winds have been high for weeks now and the rain has barely ceased. Many areas have suffered flooding. It hits the news for a few days then is forgotten as other events prove more newsworthy. For the families affected, however, the problems do not disappear so easily.

On Boxing Day, families were evacuated across the north of England as rivers overflowed after the constant heavy rain. Buildings have been damaged and destroyed, a large hole has appeared on the motorway, homes are under water running waist deep and many who remain in their homes have no power. Almost 400 flood warnings are in place in the regions as I write, 31 of them severe, which means that the flooding brings a risk to life. Indeed, there have already been deaths caused by the appalling weather conditions.

The fear, worry and loss that such flooding will cause, even in a so-called civilised country, cannot be underestimated. Not everyone can afford household insurance… the north of England has traditionally been on the poor side of the economic divide and while communities will undoubtedly pull together, for many, such an event will be simply devastating.

Christmas is never the season of global peace that we hope for and like to imagine. From the refugee fleeing terror, to the homeless youngster facing another cold night on the street, or the thousand and one local crises, wars and natural disasters, there is always something, somewhere. Even in the peace of affluent suburbia, in quiet homes on almost every street there is personal tragedy… the family who waits in fear for the violent drunk to reach tipping point, the empty place at the table, the heartache of grief and the shocking pain of sudden or impending loss.

It is not wrong to feel grateful that it is not us in that situation. There is as much a place for joy as for tragedy in the world and without it, there would be little reason for humanity to seek survival. Humanity as a species may have its problems, but human beings as individuals are not a bad lot. When we become aware of need, most will do what they can to help. We cannot always do so. Sometimes there really is nothing we can do… but we can always be aware.

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at scvincent.com and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email: findme@scvincent.com.
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56 Responses to A mile in their shoes

  1. In many places, like here, flood insurance is not an option. There are some strange how flood insurance is offered and we aren’t in a designated flood plain. Which doesn’t mean we don’t flood because we do. We’re a river valley community and when we aren’t in drought, we flood. Big time. I can but offer my sympathies having been flooded and having neither insurance nor money. We mopped up and moved on, but it took a long time to recover. Floods are devastating and scary. Water is powerful, when you have too much OR too little.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sue Vincent says:

      Such a basic necessity… and still we are not able to protect those with too much or not enough. I used to live next to river channel through the town. It must have been fifteen feet below us in a narrow channel with wide concrete banks where it ran and sparkled through the town. Until one winter it rose, carrying trees and debris in churning muddy mayhem and filled the space completely. It came to within two inches of my kitchen window and was as scary as hell.

      Like

  2. Susan Scott says:

    Awareness … thank you Sue. You’re right, so much on the news that get ‘swept under the carpet’ when something more graphic happens.

    Like

  3. BunKaryudo says:

    I’m very sorry to hear about the problems some communities have been having in the north of England. There is never a good time for something like this to happen, but it must be especially hard at this time of year with the cold weather and families probably already quite stretched financially. Sadly, wars and disasters take no Christmas break.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ritu says:

    A really thought provoking post Sue… It’s true, we all need that constant awareness of others around us….

    Like

  5. davidprosser says:

    If we could have peace and an end to the constant wars we may be able to spend more time and money on flood protection schemes and building funds to look after those who weren’t able for one reason or another to get Insurance. What a brilliant way to start 2016.
    xxx Massive Hugs Sue xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thought-provoking indeed…. 🙂

    Like

  7. Reblogged this on Musings on Life & Experience and commented:
    A piece that helps us remember others less fortunate.

    Like

  8. In the hardest of times, I have seen the very best in people. Always. We are so much better than the tragic news that is emphasized in our shared world. Nice post, Sue. A good reminder.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sue Vincent says:

      That seems to be the way, Van, and I wonder how much the tragedies and negative image of our responses plays a part in the hopelessness we sometimes feel about the state of our species …

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think it plays a huge part, Sue, but I really don’t buy into the media image. I have seen so many step up when tragedy strikes…friends, neighbors, strangers. There is so much good out there that does not get the coverage it deserves. I am eternally hopeful. ☺

        Like

        • Sue Vincent says:

          I have to say that I agree with you and have seen… and been on the receiving end… of the most incredible and beautiful gestures from people. We are nowhere near as bad as we are painted… but I do despair of some of those who get hold of power.

          Liked by 1 person

  9. I am glad you finished your post with the reminder that as a whole we humans are not such a bad lot and will lend a hand to the suffering. It is hard to remember at times.

    Like

  10. Judy Martin says:

    It has been horrendous for those living through the devastation of the floods, Like you say Sue, there are may personal tragedies occurring all of the time.

    Like

  11. My daughter, currently staying with me for the festive season, lives in York, and access to her home is currently closed, so we are trying to keep an eye on things. For anyone affected it is a terrible thing to deal with sadly.

    Like

    • Sue Vincent says:

      I know a good many up north, being from that way myself. York is always hard hit when the river rises. I hope your daughter is spared, Peter, but there are many who have not been this year unfortunately.

      Like

  12. Awareness and empathy Sue. Suddenly our roof began to leak. I watch the water creep up our backyard. I know the garage is full of water. It is a horrible thing indeed. Here, we have water too much. Across the country they are dry and breaking without it.

    Like

  13. noelleg44 says:

    Similar problems with the weather on the other side of the pond – flooding, tornadoes, and loss of life. El Nino extends all the way around the globe spreading across the same latitudes. Not very Christmas-y here this year! We’ve been walking around in short sleeves for weeks.

    Like

    • Sue Vincent says:

      It’s unseasonably mild here too. The worrying thing for all those suffering from the weather is that there is more to come and while for many of us, that is just annoying, for those already in trouble, it must be both frightening and devastating.

      Like

  14. Éilis Niamh says:

    Similar thoughts have been weighing on my mind also, Sue.

    Like

  15. No, it’s not wrong to be grateful. We should always be grateful. In this situation, I can feel it wrong but it’s not if we have empathy. I love this line: “Christmas is never the season of global peace that we hope for and like to imagine.” Truth. 💛 Hope you have a beautiful New Years.

    Like

  16. So sorry to hear about the flooding, Sue. I too experience holiday joy with a little voice in my head reminding me of all those who aren’t so merry. My community has been through flooding several times. We also had homes without flood insurance and, without a choice, people just picked up an left. What you say is true about people pulling together, though, and that’s the silver lining we still talk about years later. My best wishes to all for a happy, healthy, safe New Year.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. marerobster says:

    Here in Switzerland, just the week before Christmas, we had a raging fire go through the old part of a bigger village that a good friend of mine lives in, just across the street from the fire. He says some people didn’t have insurance either. It is heartwarming to see how communities rally together to help though.

    Like

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