Wrath of the Water Spirits

Wrath of the Water Spirits

So a couple of weeks ago I had a water leak on the second floor of my house, which has led to an accelerating series of disruptions to my life. Giant fans and dehumidifiers have been blowing noisily for most of the time, with holes cut in the drywall for access to the interior spaces.

The restoration company found asbestos in the ceiling texture (building was constructed in 1979) and before the ceiling can be dried out properly, an abatement must be performed. This will require the first floor to be cleared out. Now all my “non-essentials” – mainly books, board games and bric-a-brac – are boxed in preparation.

While I might question calling books and games non-essential, it is mostly stuff I never use. Do I really need all these vanities and distractions? Just to look at and feel smug? But then it does represent decades of my life accumulating what were in my mind the best of books and games, and many souvenirs of my adventures. I feel at once lighter, stripped down to the bare bones of existence, but also unmoored, swept away by events beyond my control.

And a little anxious about entrusting my possessions to people I have only just met. I swear I could see the dollar signs ringing up in their eyes as the work requirements snowballed.

Still there is an exciting sense of novelty, and the joy of testing my resilience. I am a creature of habit and now must make new habits. This just comes with homeownership; I am fortunate that I have had this house for nearly eight years and this is the first major event. And I am grateful to live in a peaceful and prosperous nation where I can even afford a house and the comforts it provides, with insurance to cover the repairs when the water spirits decide to show their wrath. As I know, most people on this planet are not so lucky.

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