With the challenge this week to illustrate “endurance,” I thought of the incredible spirit of the folks I saw in Europe this past spring as I traveled the Danube River. If you remember, in June of 2013, there was horrific flooding in Europe and the Danube rushed past its banks to create widespread destruction.
Passau, Germany was a prime example. Everywhere we looked, we could see marks on many of the structures showing just how high the water levels reached. We were astonished at how quickly (less than a year later), things were brought back to normal, or near normal, conditions.
Flood marks in Passau, Germany
This image shows historic flood marks. As you can see, 2013 was the second highest flood EVER. For perspective, compare Beverly’s height. Really gives you pause for thought.
Another stunning example of just how high the waters rose. The dirty marks on the tower show you exactly; now compare the diminutive size of the people next to it.
These people posted a photograph in their window to show you this building and street under water during the flood. This place was up a hill, a good distance from the river. Pretty sobering. But also pretty amazing how quickly this has been restored.
This beautiful garden was not exempt from the flood waters either. As we walked by, the lady who lives here was outside tending it and I stopped to compliment her on its beauty. She told me that it and her ground floor were underwater. When I professed my dismay, she quickly showed an incredibly stoic side to her personality. Her feeling was that it was a fact of life, and you just deal with it, pick up the pieces, and go on.
In other words, endure.
For others’ thoughts on the meaning of “endurance”, please go here.