Our Dunkirk Moment

I never knew that Houston was built on bayous. That it is called the Bayou City. That when the rain came down like jets from a thousand fire hoses, there were so many banks to burst. That’s when Houston began to drown.

But apparently the bayous had created their own salvation – there are lots of boats in Houston. There are lots of boats in all the communities around Houston. Big and little, plastic, wood, aluminum. With and without power. Some of them shaped like swans. Well, these last were pool floats. I heard a midwife got to her patient in one of them.

Watching the people of Houston rescue their own this past week was the brightest light on the national scene that I have witnessed (in bed, with a cough, on my TV), and I felt better just watching it.

It was our very own Dunkirk moment.

But just like Dunkirk, it ain’t over yet. There are years of recovery ahead. Years of paperwork and rebuilding and resettling. Years of discovering the damage done. Years of court cases and political wrangling and lies and damned lies.

There’s no guarantee the outcome will be something better.

But if we need a moment to recollect our belief that something can and should be made better, Houston gave us that brief, shining moment. Our own Dunkirk.