Monday, January 18, 2010
It has been raining again...a lot. What a winter. And the Cowichan River is back to its high levels. This picture was taken at the bridge crossing we take to get to Duncan. You can see the road just on the other side of the river.
I think this has been more on my mind than I thought. Last night on top of the rain we had a big wind storm, and the power went out about 2 a.m. It woke us up, because all our smoke detectors chirrup when that happens. Then about half an hour later the river, which we could hear through our open bedroom window, suddenly seemed a lot louder - enough that we each did a "Are you awake? What is that noise?" And then shortly after that (sometime before 3) we started to hear what sounded like announcements being made through loudpeakers coming from the road.
Panic! I leaped out of bed, went charging downstairs for a flashlight and a raincoat, and ran to the road where car lights were shining and a small crowd of people seemed to be gathering. Had the river broken its banks? Were we being asked to evacuate?
It turned out one of our neighbours had seen and heard someone outside their house in the dark and had called the police, who had spotted someone in the forest and were calling them out on their loudspeakers. (Whoever it was didn't oblige.) Not a flooding river, but excitement all the same. Kim and I went around and made sure all our doors and windows were locked and went back to bed, but it was a while before we got back to sleep.
I have had a few conversations with Elly, our next-door neighbour, about feelings of safety out here in the country. It's something she thinks about because Nick is often gone for work, and she's in their house alone without a dog with supersonic hearing and an intimidating bark like Frankie. I haven't felt afraid of other humans - it's bears I worry about - although if our property were more secluded or remote I might worry. I suppose an event like last night might make one feel more concerned, but paradoxically I felt reassured somehow. How amazing that we can see or hear something suspicious, call the RCMP and they actually come to check it out. And that the neighbours come out in their pyjamas to make sure everything's okay. That's kind of cool.