High water mark – note tyre marks in the grass.
I asked someone the other day Are you applying for the new job being advertised?. She replied No, I want to stay where I am; I want to stay in my comfort zone.
It set me thinking about the tendency towards wanting to be comfortable; it’s understandable – why on earth would we want to be un-comfortable! Yet nothing stays the same. Everything changes. Buddhism talks of the impermanence of all things, so trying to create a comfort zone, trying to control our circumstances is bound to create yet more difficulties. There is no staying where I am, there is only change.
So I began to ask myself what comfort zones do I make vain attempts to preserve? And it was with this question in my mind that I went up to Northumberland with Nigel and our elderly greyhound, Lottie. As you can see by the photos posted by Rev Mugo, who we spent some time with, we were located very close to the South Tyne River. The photo in Rev Mugo’s post shows that it was lively, but shallow enough to allow two fishermen to wade out into the middle and stand there quite easily. We joked with each other about the river rising and the amount of rain; Rev Mugo wished us a dry night as she left to return to Throssel.
At 11 pm we awoke to the sound of the site owner banging on our door with the words ‘the river is flooding and you need to move! NOW!
And move we did…. as fast as we were able! With the very real danger of Nigel, who was driving car with the caravan in tow, sliding over the edge of the bank into the floodwater. The river had risen by 4 -5 feet in the space of 2 hours and, although it was dark, we could see the water clearly rushing past at a frighteningly fast rate. Thoughts like why is this happening to us? It’s the middle of the night, I don’t want to have to deal with this arose in reaction to this crisis, but I was able to drop all of that and get on with what needed to be done.
We finally managed to re-pitch on higher ground just outside the site manager’s bungalow and climbed back in our beds at around 1 am. We both lay awake for quite a while afterwards reflecting on the dangerous situation we had just gone through. It took a while to relax enough to sleep and we were both very glad that not all change is as dramatic as this. If ever I needed a reminder that nothing stays the same then this certainly was it.