Louisiana January Rains

 

Louisiana January Rains

Shannon Lynn Farlouis on Jan 11, 2013

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The second week in January has been sort of rough in southeast Louisiana. We are water and that is what we are! Lakes, rivers, streams, canals, creeks, the Gulf, and the list goes on. Add a week of rain non-stop and everything becomes soaked, even you, if you live here that is.

 

In a quiet community on Chavers Hill located in Tickfaw, Louisiana the rains of January have set in and around us. Chavers Hill lies on the banks of the Natalbany River. You can look out my back door or my kitchen window and see this majestic beauty flowing with peace and serenity. The Natalbany River flows south. This second week in January has brought many feet of rain to Tickfaw, Louisiana and other surrounding areas. Because of these ongoing rains there are many people who cannot work. Many roads have become impassable.

In the dry season, many of us call this mighty flowing river a creek, because of a gentle stream of water, and a few children playing on the sand banks. January 8, 2013, when the morning sun showed its first rays streaming on the water, it was a surprise because the Natalbany River is now my backyard. People who live in homes along the Natalbany River begin to prepare for the worse and move things to higher ground.

Our community road, Chavers Lane, leads to the main highway called Antioch Road. If you are headed south, the river will be located on your right. There are quite a few homes that nearly have water knocking at their doors right now. My home sits on a hill. The natural beauty of the river is peaceful and serene, but right now it is not so peaceful as the water flows with its mighty force and continues to rise.

The King of Chavers Hill said ” In all of my forty-something years I have been here, the river has never climbed over the hill.”  That makes me feel somewhat better knowing that my home may not be flowing south while I am asleep. I believe every word he says, but it  lies in the powerful hands of God, and surely time will tell.

Louisiana is famous for its miles and miles of swampland. This swampland is home to a variety of wildlife and beautiful birds. At night and in the early morning hours I listen to the owls call. I know when they make their silent flights, because the calls shift to a different area. Chavers Hill is a beautiful place, but it is not so beautiful when the powerful and mighty river begins to run its course and spill over its banks. This is when anxiety and fear sets in many people’s hearts. Will the river overtake us and our homes? Maybe or maybe not. God is the one in control and it is prayer that will save us all.

I have a home today, just like you. Tomorrow can be a different story, because I can become homeless and so can a lot of other people. Just like Louisiana has torrential rains, tornadoes and hurricanes, somewhere else in the world there are cyclones, earthquakes, volcanoes and other natural disasters that are taking place right now. So many people ask “Why do you choose to live in a swamp or along the river banks?” It is because people here love their home, just as people live in the areas of earthquakes love their homes. It really does not matter where you live, because God is always in control of the weather and weather forecasters sometimes become confused.

It will take about three more feet of water to rise over the hill. Nature in my backyard is attractive and breathtaking. I like listening to the night sounds of nature, the early morning songs of sparrows in the trees. I think about these things as the water continues to rise. My son Taylor likes to fish in the Natalbany River, but at this time he is disappointed because it is really not a place for sport or play. At this time the river is dangerous with its rough waves rushing over downed logs. I open my backdoor and about five feet away is water. Today, is January 10, 2013 and it is a peaceful evening with no rain, so far that is. The weather forecasters are calling for more, so that means more rising of the river. As the evening sun begins to set, what a beautiful scene over the river.

It is the natural beauty and peaceful evenings like this that keeps us here. Louisianians are a strong people who have a long history, culture and heritage. We love our state just as much as you love yours. When something is destroyed, we continue to rebuild. When wildlife habitat is gone, we remake one. When floods wash our homes away, we start over. When tornadoes with their swirling winds, relocate us, we find our way back. When hurricanes make their destructive path, we continue to live on. When rivers rise and knock at doors, we answer, but with the knowledge and respect of nature, we prepare for the worse.