Aftermath of the Storm

This Memorial Day weekend Old Town Ellicott City suffered it’s second devastating flood in two years. Each time a “freak” rainstorm destroyed business, damaged homes and local roads, and parklands in a horrific reply of the flood of 2016.  That one, we were assured was  a “1000 year” storm — an event that we’d never see again in our lifetimes.

That prediction turned out to be way off.

Trolley Trail #9

Our 1.5  Trolley Trail #9 is a favorite among hikers and bikers. This paved, 1.5 mile trail  connects Catonsville to Old Town Ellicott City.  Along it is a local bakery (perfect place for a break on a leisurely day), Benjamin Banneker Park (a local gem), and what is normally a small, burbling creek.

A few weeks after the flood, it. was passable but with the flood’s ravages evident. A wooden bridge, replaced after the 2016 storm, is tilted, as if giant hands grabbed  it and twisted hard.

Exiting the bridge (if you’ve been riding uphill from Westchester Road) there’s a pothole that’s eaten most of the trail, requiring cyclists to dismount and walk around it.

Mud, uprooted trees, and an intense, sunglass-fogging humidity bear witness to what happened a few weeks ago.

It will take a time and help for it to recover – and it may never be quite what it was.

My Personal Storm

I felt a kinship with this damaged-but-still-vital path as I rode along. I endured my own, personal storm during the past year and a half. It’s an experience I’m still recovering from.  It began in the fall of 2016 with an ultrasound and mammogram that established I had breast cancer.  A 3-phase treatment process that came next left me, too,  damaged-but-still-vital.

“We’re resilient, the trail silently told me as I rode along. We might look different, and feel different. But we’re still here. The birds still sing, the flowers still scent the air.

We have been through a lot, you and I. Even so, we continue on. We persist; our energy renews.  We quietly thrive and celebrate what is.”

 

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