Friday, September 2, 2011


    The droplets freefall from a saturated sky, on suicide missions, they plummet to the land and waters below. The earth can no longer absorb this rush of unbridled currents as the height of the newly made lakes and rivers rise. The rain has been on a non-stop course for three days now, with no end in the immediate future, we must seek elevated ground for survival. The sirens of the Emergency Management Agency still linger throughout the air as the level of water gains strength and grows higher, threatening our way of life, the lands we harvest, the cattle grazing in the pastures, all we hold true. It seems as if I have been living on a boat for days, in reality its been merely hours, how I long to touch the dirt with my bare feet. You would have to be a part of this to feel the desperation in people, as they cling to the roofs of their houses, the branches of trees, braving their souls to rescue items from their sunken homes, to make sure the pets are out and surviving, it is difficult to brake the human spirit, even harder to wipe it from existence. We are fully aware of the rebuilding that must immediately follow as the waters someday reside back to their confined dams, those that have lived here for any amount of time realize that this is nothing more than a inconvience to them. I fill chilled as I struggle to hold on to the side of the barn, the swiftly moving stream wishing to take me with it. I no longer see the boat that had enabled me to move about and keep me from death. This old nail was my lifeline and had held tight in the water logged wood. Grandpa had hammered it in years ago after a fishing trip that had yielded numerous catfish, it also was the cause of my sisters bad eye having had run into it during a game of hide and seek. It kept me from freely floating through the waters and finally coming to rest somewhere on the murky bottom. I do not know how long I was there before my rescuers found me and took me from that place, but days later when I returned there was no nail in the wood, even more compelling was that I could not find any trace of a nail ever being there. Still I believed. The water is still ankle high in places and most have returned home to begin salvaging what they can, even Jake made it home. A neighbor said he had swam over two miles on his journey before finding a place to rest and wait it out. The two-year-old Lab was just happy to be home, and every now and then I go to the barn and take another look for that piece of metal that had saved me. I think I need to go into town and buy some new supplies, and wouldn’t you just know it, there is a flat tire on the truck, a nail in the tire, an old rusty used nail, could this be it? It must be, guess I’ll change the tire and still make it before 5:00 pm. On the way I was stopped and learned of the fate of those traveling this road only minutes earlier. A busload of convicts had escaped and had flagged down at least ten motorists in the last thirty minutes and all had been murdered, not a one left with air in their lungs. Had my life been saved yet again, had the nail somehow rescued me from an almost certain fate. I don’t know how much you can read into this and if you wish to believe any, but I took that nail years later and it was the first to go into the wood on our new home. We placed that nail in the baby’s room, right over the head of where the crib would be. We think of it as the fourth nail, the one not used on Jesus, the one he left behind to give us hope and belief of his deliverance. We stopped painting over it a couple years back as the rust always showed back through the paint, we believe now that the nail bleeds, it reminds us of him, of his love. 
                                                         Mark Hall

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