We work hard at subduing mother nature. This new shopping center off Keagy Road in Roanoke, Va. is a good example of leveling off mountain tops and filling in valleys.
While we can make the landscape look like whatever we want, Sunday’s storms and wind whipped fires in the Roanoke area proved that we are still pretty insignificant in the grand scheme of things.
Today is Tuesday and some people in the Roanoke area will be without power until Friday because of what the high winds did to trees in the area.
It is interesting how as we crowd ourselves together in smaller and smaller spaces that we become more dependent on someone else.
When we lived in the wilds of New Brunswick, we heated with wood, grew our own food, had a spring for our water, and could actually have done okay without the power grid for a week or two since we also had a small generator.
During the wind storm on Sunday, our cable modem connection went down. It was almost as isolating as being in the middle of the Canadian wilderness.
When a blizzard would hit in Canada, we still managed to get around because we were prepared for it. In a worst case scenario, I could put my snowshoes on and go visiting.
There is nothing one individual can do to prevent infrastructure disaster in today’s world. It is a little unnerving to be so dependent on so many other people.
The other challenge is the anonymity of your problem in a large community. I can remember the power going out for a week during an early September snowstorm on the coast of Nova Scotia. We were in small community. People quickly started figuring out how to help each other. One neighbor modified a chain saw so it would run our water pumps. Another put a generator on a trailer and went around running people’s freezers for an hour or two.
Small communities quickly turn to helping each other. I wonder how many people in Roanoke are without power and cold while their neighbors are warm in well electrified homes.
I may just have to head back down to the coast, at least it is a small neighborhood, and I like to believe it would be easier to pull together in a disaster. One of the mayors of the area runs a small farm not far from me. Somehow that is comforting.