They are called sump pumps. When I moved to Minnesota from the south, the realtor, quite proudly, pointed them out. I nodded as if I understood what he said. My focus was on the window view to the back yard, important stuff when buying a house. Most of the homes in Minnesota have basements where all the piping, electrical and other freeze prone items are housed, well below the frost line. The purpose of the sump pumps are to function like water vacuum cleaners. They draw in the water from rain and melting snow that gather near the basement walls. With a reverse action, they push it back out through drain pipes on the outside of the house that are quite long, displacing the water further from the basement. Without a sump pump, the water gathering will flood the basement.
They are not exactly a hot topic for blogs, books, Oprah or the nightly news. They are really quite ugly, or at the least, uninteresting. No, not a hot topic nor pleasing to the eye but on a day when my town is flooded from overflowing rivers and almost ten plus inches of rain, they rival the Mona Lisa in their simplicity.
In the wee hours of the morning, checking for water in the basement, I listened and crossed my fingers that I would hear their roar. At work, even the grown men admitted that they too stayed down stairs until late in the night until they heard the sump pumps kick in and begin their work. As the rain continues to pour, and homes are being evacuated from flooding rain and rivers, I sit here with the music a bit softer, still listening for the thump and roar. And until the next down pour I feel protected and safe.
I sit. I listen. A physical function of water level and force that removes all that should not be away from me and treasured possessions. I wonder, do you think, if I were to work on it, visualized it, walked with it, I could create a sump pump for my soul? With you, keeper of my heart and breath, maybe I could learn to sit, listen and activate the hope within me that would gather and draw all that should not be and displace it from me? I would have to learn to sit. I would have to learn to listen. I would have to learn to be sensitive to the gathering and know it is time to draw it in and then displace. I would have to learn to trust that in drawing it in I have the strength to also displace and disperse it. Do you think?
My basement is dry. I just heard the thump and roar. All that should not be is being drawn in and displaced. No, a sump pump cannot abate the rivers overflowing their banks. I guess, that’s a topic for another pondering. But what it is designed to do, when used, works, and all is safe and dry. And so, as the rains pour again, I shall sit, I shall listen and let my heart thump and roar for those who are not as dry as I am and have lost or fear losing their homes. Hope’s sump pump will reach out drawing away and displacing all that should not be in their homes and their hearts.