My heart hurts.
My beloved city is struggling under the weight of dirty water; our museums, tourist attractions and homes are flooded, and many humans and animals are displaced due to the massive amount of rainfall that occurred in just two days.
I see it and cry. I see damages in friends' homes that they can't afford to fix, as many of us are unemployed or barely employed and don't have the cash or flood insurance to deal with this catastrophe.
One of the reasons I love Nashville - the people - they are shining right now. Everyone is joining together, helping with flooded basements and conserving water because we're running low on reserves right now. It fills me with pride and faith in humanity to hear all the efforts going on to aid those in need. I am humbled by my neighbors and their willingness to give.
Nashville, dear sweet reluctant uncle who took me in, I have adored you from the first visit I ever paid you. You take us all in, we're all immigrants to your Cumberland banks. We are tourists forever in our hearts, unbelieving that such a place exists with such beautiful people who have flocked to you for your artistry, your commerce, your mythical history. Thank you for letting us be a part of your story, as you have changed mine. I weep to see you in such a state and want to embrace the historic and struggling downtown streets, the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Grand Ole Opry, Shelby Bottoms, and the underwater neighborhood of Bellvue, and squeeze you so hard the water recedes as if it never occurred. I am so sorry to see you this way. And the farms? The small local farmers who have record numbers this year due to the influx of organically-minded Nashvillians, I am stunned by the loss of their property and vegetables. Their torn and lost fences, the chickens drowned and horses stranded, how can they bounce back from this tragedy?
I suppose I feel terrible for being so lucky while others have lost so much. Our basement flooded slightly, but our sump pump did a heck of a job. I live just two streets away from the river - yet I survived unscathed - and I see the Cumberland and its swollen banks standing high from my backyard, and I can't believe it.
Anyone who lives outside of this beautiful city, if you have any money to spare, please give to the organizations who are helping our residents affected by this catastrophe. No one saw this coming, and how could they? Many lost their lives in the flash floods that happened during the monsoon; it was sudden and strong and although waters are beginning to recede, this cleanup will go on for months. Check Nashvillest for further information on how to contribute.
Nashville, I love you. I always have, I always will. You are inspiring and and willful, and I know you will emerge stronger than ever after this tragedy. I am just so sorry to see you so damaged.