Things We Lost in The Flood
by Kim Nygren
There’s a movie called “Things We Lost in the Fire.” I’ve never seen it and have no idea what it’s about, but I can’t get the title out of my head this week. Maybe it’s because I keep thinking about things we lost in the flood. Some people lost their entire homes, literally watched them float down the street in a river that wasn’t supposed to be there. Some people lost all of their homes’ belongings, but salvaged the structure. Some even lost their lives. We mourn the loss of these things that we can never get back.
But we also lost a few things in the flood that I pray we never find again. We lost barriers. We lost the kinds of barriers that prevented us from speaking to people outside of our circle of friends. I have become really good friends with people I only knew in passing or had never even seen before. The barrier of personal space has been blown away as we’ve all hugged people we had never even met before this week. We lost pride. We lost the kind of pride that would stop us from asking for help or asking others to donate things or give money to help our neighbors. We lost boundaries. We lost the boundaries that separate Pegram from Kingston Springs, and all other areas affected by the flood. We are humans helping humans and that’s the only label that matters. We also lost the boundaries that separate races and religions, socio-economic status and political beliefs. Kingston Springs United Methodist Church opened their doors to people regardless of church membership or belief. I chuckled while looking at the parking lot of Harpeth Middle School when I saw all the “NOBAMA” bumper stickers right next to the “OBAMA” bumper stickers. It didn’t matter, because inside that school, the drivers of those cars were working side by side making meals, comforting their neighbors and sorting the piles of items donated by our community. We lost our separateness and embraced our oneness. We lost selfishness and found selflessness. We lost our homes, but found our community.
While we fight our way back to a sense of normalcy, may we never find these things we lost in the flood, and never let go of the priceless things we’ve found.
Kim Nygren is a Kingston Springs resident, and a KSES parent, who answered the call to help her community alongside so many others. She is part of a grassroots volunteer movement of citizen first responders in South Cheatham County. When neighbors quickly organized at Red Tree Coffee in downtown Kingston Springs and broke off into committees, Kim stepped up to co-lead the food committee. Together with Kingston Springs resident, Lori Clayton, they led volunteers at Kingston Springs United Methodist Church in helping to feed hundreds of flood survivors and volunteers in South Cheatham County.