September 25, 2012 by talkaboutyork
I grew up on a river that would flood with reasonable regularity. It was massively exciting. First the green water hyacinth would start to come down. The water would turn dark brown. And then it would rise…
As a child, it was a grand adventure to sit on the front wall and watch the water lap at the front gate, particularly as it meant we couldn’t make it to school. It was probably less fun for my mother who had the army march through the house, tramping muddy boots all over her white flokati rug, instructing us to leave the premises. Wading through waist high water, polluted with the contents of over flowing septic tanks trying to hold children aloft was probably also a little stressful for my parents.
In more recent history, our house was flooded. We didn’t live anywhere near a river, yet after weeks of torrential rain, we went from dry to thigh high water in ten minutes. It wasn’t fun.
Yet we moved to York, a city known for its flooding regularity. Today I got to see the River Ouse angry for the first time. After collecting the boys from school, we walked to the river to see if all the rain had made a difference to the water level. The boys went from whinging about walking in the rain to standing awestruck as they watched the brown water swirl past, where normally they would ride their bikes. I could see the same excitement in their eyes that I no doubt had in mine when I was their age.
I know floods can destroy lives and homes and businesses and are hardly a thing to be celebrated, but there is something primeval and thrilling about watching nature do its thing.
The River Ouse has risen a lot higher in the past and that this is just a little flood (well so far anyway) but it was still enough for me to want to capture it on my phone. Here it is.