In my yard, there is a small garden statue.
It is weatherworn, but the angel sits in my yard, deep in thought, watching the insects and birds that visit my front yard flower garden.
The angel didn't always live at my house. Three years ago, it was for sale at a nursery near Owego, New York.
On September 8, 2011, Tropical Storm Lee hit the northeast United States, in followup to another tropical storm days earlier (Irene). Our soggy soil could not hold the 10 some inches of rain that Lee dumped on us after our rainiest summer on record, and Lee triggered massive flooding.
My neighborhood of Westover, near Johnson City, New York was hit hard, as my regular readers know. Owego was hit even harder.
The nursery, after it reopened, put various salvaged goods up for sale at reduced prices.
In a pot was a Persian Shield (the reddish plant with the large leaves-Strobilanthes dyerianus) that had survived the flood, and I somehow knew I needed to rescue it.
Then, I saw the angel.
Today, the original Persian Shield lives in my office, and I've had cuttings grow outdoor in pots the past three summers. The plant has been a joy for me with its shiny red leaves. And the angel is my Flood Angel. It watches over me, and my neighborhood.
Why does my neighborhood need a flood angel?
Slowly but surely, the houses that were so severely damaged they could not be saved, are finally being demolished. Now, this past week, we got some news that our neighborhood had been waiting for, since November of 2011.
A neighborhood is more than just a collection of buildings. And, for us, hope is a wonderful thing. Perhaps now, we can finally start to move forward.
(To be continued).