The first photo was taken seven weeks ago, at the height of the Missouri River flood flight in Pierre. Our office is three blocks, or so, from the river and, housing very expensive printing equipment, it was necessary to protect the building.
Today, the hay bales came down. The facility manager cleaned the muck left behind and our building now stands alone, victorious.
All around people are moving back into homes and tearing down sandbag berms. The river has not returned to its banks quite yet, but releases out of the Oahe Dam are decreasing steadily and the river should be close to normal by September. This hellish summer for Pierre and Fort Pierre is almost over.
We are moving on.
These photos represent when it is easy to move on. Moving on is forced and is needed, but sometimes it’s harder than just proceeding on with life.
I have never been good at moving on or letting go. I am afraid to. In relationships, it often takes me awhile to rebound, even if the relationship was shattered and I’m the one that did the ending. There was once love and that’s enough to hold on, even if I’m aware it’ll never come back. I fear if I let go the good will never come back, in any form.
I have been struggling with Niger quite a bit. Memories and visual reminders of life in the desert attack me daily. It’s still so painful and I am not sure I’ll ever stop longing for that place, to go back to that perfect time.
But, Niger is now my past and Lesotho is my future. I need to look forward and prepare myself for a completely different future. I have been terrified that I will be known as the girl who starts everyone sentence with “Well, in Niger …” I don’t want to be that girl. I want to be the girl who looks around her and says “This is amazing.”
I will never stop thinking about Niger or loving the people that I met there, but I can stop writing about it. So, from here on out, I going to try not to blog about Niger anymore. For more than a year, I’ve blogged about my adventures there and in the last six months I’v posted about my struggle of leaving so abruptly. It has definitely been a healing process, but like the end of this flood, there is light at the end of the tunnel.
It doesn’t mean that my love for that piece of my life is gone, but it’s time to move on.