The cleanup has begun. Nashville is finally beginning to see the surface again. The water has receded and lives are moving on. Almost every part of town was hit by the Flood of 2010. No matter where you go you'll see someone's life reduced to debris piled up on the sides of streets waiting for trucks to pick up and haul away.
But what brings tears to my eyes and makes me feel as if I live in the most wonderful city in the world are all the volunteers who've put their lives on hold to help out a neighbor, a friend or a stranger. Traffic on affected streets is so congested you creep along at a snail's pace, but do so without complaint. And all because there are so many people willing to help. So many people willing to do anything they have to do, from hauling wet furniture to pulling out drywall and hardwood floors to crawling beneath houses to clean out muddy insulation to sorting trash into piles for the trucks to haul away to cooking for the victims and volunteers.
I've heard stories so varied yet so alike from flood victims. Some were evacuated before the water reached their homes, others were rescued by hunters or boat enthusiasts who left their own families to help those in need. But rescued or evacuated, not once have I heard complaints about who was helped first or who helped who. And I've only heard one report of looters that was over so fast we almost didn't know it happened in the first place.
This is the reason we're called The Volunteer State. We rise above ourselves to help anyone who needs it and we do it cheerfully. And even amid all this destruction, beauty and hope will always bloom because....
We Are Nashville!