Just a month ago I was contemplating fire season here in the southwestern United States. Now the rains have arrived and I’m pondering flooding.
The monsoon definitely arrived here in Arizona with a vengeance last week. On Wednesday, it rained for more than an hour at our house—and poured hard for half of that. Fortunately for us, the pump system in our back yard worked like a charm and we experienced no flooding. Unfortunately, others haven’t been so blessed. Friends in Flagstaff, in Northern Arizona, suffered house flooding on the same street where a Prius took a viral trip down the rapids.
Arizona isn’t the only area to be suffering. My brother lives in northwestern Germany, in the area where the flooding has been so bad that people have died (and following years of heat and drought that had taken the drinking-water reservoirs down to 30%!). My brother is also fortunate, in that their house is on a rise and rainwater flows elsewhere. However, some of their colleagues have flooded homes and yards, and on at least one day last week, both routes to his office were impassable. (Fortunately, he mostly works from home; one gift of this pandemic era.)
We’ve been corresponding on the impact. Early on, he wrote to us about how the flooding had submerged the oldest open-air community swimming pool in all of Germany, saying, “It is really sad to see pictures of the entire valley being one huge dirty brown puddle with strange-looking half-submerged slides and diving boards sticking out.” Now, of course, so much more has been damaged, from historic town centers to ancient and theoretically unbreachable castles, and the death tolls keep rising.
These poignant images, alongside larger catastrophes of dams and dikes breaking across Europe, really reinforces the reality that the climate crisis has arrived. I join my brother in his grief, as I pray for our struggling Earth and all the people who are being impacted by flooding. I also pray that we can set aside our many differences and work together to cut global emissions—although it may be too late to prevent long-term, worldwide changes in weather patterns and global habitability.
I also pray for the myriad animals and plants who experience these catastrophic changes without any sense of why their world has been turned upside down.
Please take a few moments this week to pray for Mother Earth and all of us creatures who dwell here. While the very rich are proving this month that they can escape the planet, at least for a few moments (and as their rockets pump more pollutants into the atmosphere), the rest of us are stuck here with what we have wrought.
Please also take some time to look around you and see what you can do to help those who experience flooding and other catastrophic effects of this climate change. Then commit to making a difference in the lives of at least one family this week, as I have. Thank you.