We have been without electricity for nearly 2 and a half days. There is a massive clean-up going on all around the town. What we have happening is the electricity of kindness. It has taken people ages to get to our through Hebden Bridge today as volunteers have poured into the Calder Valley towns to help everyone affected by the floods on Boxing Day. This isn’t the statutory help though the local council, the army, the power companies & all the emergency services have been doing as much as they can. This is the kindness offered by all shapes, sizes, sorts of people to people who have lost their homes or livelihoods. It includes the local people who have provided food & drinks (thank you to Rev Howard Pask of St James’ Church for the sandwiches he & his parishioners provided today) as well as the storage of so many donated items (Omega Scaffolding & the Town Hall) and for the staff at all of free food & drink points, not to mention the reception & organisers at the Town Hall.
I have been on the heartbreaking task of helping clear Hebden Bridge Spiritualist church of all it’s possessions today. The hight of the water meant that all of the furniture, most of the pictures & curtains had to be thrown away. Our church organ & the few possessions that had survived the 2012 flooding have also gone. Rather remarkably the only piece of furniture that has been saved is a memorial table donated in memory of Sarah Alice Sutcliffe. Although the table must have been caught up in the water the top is clear, the leaflets & box of tissues dry & the Christmas tree still upright & in place. Not so the rest of the furniture that was much heavier. Perhaps the Spirit World felt we should be left with one piece of memorabilia & an interesting story to tell? Certainly one story has been the clean up that we needed to do. Mud, water & debris everywhere. Chairs weighing at least double because of the amount of water still in them. A mountain of a task!
So how to clean up such a mess? I posted on Facebook yesterday and got such a wonderful response. Kind words, offers of help & people sending positive vibes. Today the electricity of kindness was flowing in the church. The team from Beaver Tree Services who brought their trucks & moved a mountain of wet, muddy stuff for us & our neighbours ended their day cleaning out the water & mud from the church basement. They worked non stop all day! Our committee members, other Facebook friends, our neighbours & even our church flat ex-tenants all wielded their mops, brushes & shovels with a determination to get the church & surrounding roads as clean as was possible. And the never ending supply of strangers who saw our plight and joined in – from Bradford, Dewsbury, Sowerby Bridge, Halifax, the search & rescue team – buckets to hand helping to scoop out the last of the mud & water from around the basement steps. Kindness is everywhere in Hebden Bridge today.
I hope that all the other areas affected by the flooding find that the electricity of kindness is flowing there for them too. I haven’t enough words of thanks for what was accomplished today at the church or for the way in which the whole town is on the receiving end of such unselfish kindness. It inspires me to believe in the future of humanity. It shows me that love is still in the hearts of most people. Although the church is affected by the floods the Spirit World can certainly say that we ‘get it’. The demonstration of so much unconditional love is the foundation of our future. I might still be in the dark at home (electricity expected back on any time soon, lol) but I’m warmed by the electricity of so much kindness. There are many other places where people are struggling with war & natural catastrophies. Let’s try to spread that kindness world-wide!
Day 42 of my blogging challenge.