Strange sounds accompanied our walk tonight as well. It was the sound of deep, fast-moving water, rushing round the river bend. And it was close at hand–much closer at hand than it’s ever been. Suddenly the neighborhoods I live in and walk through make a completely different sense. Suddenly the river is the dividing line: a wide, deep, unpredictable killer. Suddenly the past and geography of South Bend feel more alive and logical.
We’re the side high up on the bluff. We’ve got downtown, factories, a public library, bus, train, and air travel centers, and a lot of other things too: decaying empty industrial areas and crime, poverty and misery, as well as significant architecture, an art museum, and a big hospital. The other side has Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s–on the opposite bluff–but it also has a large development called “the Northshore Triangle” of charming one- and two-story houses behind grand mansions along the river, in what is now obviously a flood plain. I bet some developer made a wager back then that this would never happen, and a group of investors went along because, why not? They’d be long gone by the time disaster hits. Well tonight, it’s happening.
Be grateful for your warm, dry home.
And if your life is uneventful be grateful for that too.