Naginis worshiping Krsna – old Indian painting source unknown
This is a story spanning over a decade of various bridges over Board Run behind my house, and how the Nagini’s of the Water eventually won and how i “bended” my ways to be more Taoist “go with the flow” in the end.
WE start out in 2003 when i bought this house and property, being the mere caretaker of it for a short time while i do my Earth Walk. The previous owner had lost his bridge due to flooding and had built this lovely one instead, sitting on the original concrete base pads on each side of the stream, then on several course of cinder block piers.
My beautiful old bridge
Now Board Run drains about 50 square miles of mountain and valley and is the end of several small runs all merging here at this cul-de-sac before merging into the Juniata river which merges into the Susquehanna river. This is a 10 foot deep ravine and lots of rapids with about a 15 foot drop from where i can see upstream down to my bridge. The water has cut directly through a shale level which is upended perpendicular to the water flow. I would say this small, swift stream has probably been here since the last ice age. When it rains and the ground is already soaked or worse yet when the ground is frozen with ice, the water rises fast and goes down fast.
In July 2006 it rained for 3 days straight about 6 inches a day from a tropical depression never named but the water came up to the Edge of my bank, covering my cellar sump pump drain, with waves comes up at the rapids a few feet higher. Trees were rolling down the stream at about 10mph. One large tree came down and hit the center of my bridge and it was gone in 3 seconds and hit my neighbor’s bridge pier taking that out. Somehow his bridge survived like a swaying rope bridge and he used chain and a come along to anchor it to two trees. It also took out an entire 20 foot tall cinder block wall he and his bro had laid for the base for his new garage.
The power was off so i had my late Dad’s old WWII gasoline generator in the yard to power a line to the sump pump in the cellar and it was barely keeping up and got to about 6 inches from my elevated furnace. I turned all the power off at the breaker expecting the worse. My bro who was in the Army drove up here past mudslides and rock falls and large pools of water on the road and helped. me. It was the scariest thing i have personally seen in nature. Later all i found was one board from my bridge, interestingly the one with the old Japanese bell on it i had found in someone’s yard. On the other side i strangely found some old tin token that had a horse shoe on it saying Good Luck and a Helm of Awe witches foot German rune on the back, very strange, right at the edge of the water’s height. And i found that old piece of driftwood that was the roots of a tree which is my Grandmother stump out by my tree stump altar.
Below is the aftermath. Bridge number one for me – Gone.
So i did not have the money for a new bridge so resigned myself to just cinder block steps down and up the other side, reinforced with rebarb and held together by heavy copper wire. A good friend helped me with this back breaking project and we dragged those huge stones in place as stepping stones across.
Cinder block and Stone steps
My grandparents passed a few years ago and they had an old trailer up the valley where the family gathered for events. This trailer was probably 50-60 years old, so one of their grand kids tore it apart for the scrap metal leaving the flooring and old steel base. So my late Uncle Dick had the great idea of hauling it out to the nearby road, using a chainsaw to cut it down to the width of the base, then i went over and painted the really good shape plywood with several layers of marine paint. We hired a local roll back truck guy for $50 and cleared the way. My uncle drove his back hoe across to the other side at a crossing downstream, and the skilled operator laid that trailer bed back to my uncle’s back hoe bucket and they gently placed it upon cinder blocks at either end. My Uncle whispered to me to give the guy a $50 tip which i did so the whole trailer bridge only cost me $100 and lots of labour on my and our parts. The whole family was here helping or maybe mostly supervising, as the elder men tend to do. LOL. But it was Perfect. Later when he dies and was cremated we scattered his ashes around and i buried some at this end of the bridge in honour of his gift here to me.
My late Dad to left “supervising” and me standing there doing not much with the aunties clapping from their lawn chairs, quite the event for sure.
That old trailer bridge lasted through the floods because we had made a great base of steps under it that still survive, and because the bridge did not have a center pier it did not touch the water nor did i need a permit. It lasted from about 2008-2014.
Trailer Bridge passing the test of the next floods.
And then came the winter of 2013-14m the coldest snowiest winter in over 15 years, That old trailer bed bridge had a bulge in it and the metal was thinner at the hitch and and it had a bounce. So i Always kept the snow off of it, until this year when i had back surgery the last day of 2013 and could not keep up with it, even with my good neighbor snow blowing my driveway. I Always completely cleaned the bridge but after the “snow cone” consistency snow rain, ice, freezing rain event all i could do was dig a small path on the bridge so i could get to the bird feeders and burn barrel over there. So one day i shoveled my path for the upteenth time this winter, came back, got my bird seed and paper trash to burn, went back over and it partially collapsed with me on it, bending about 3 feel downwards. Believe it not i remained standing, did not spill any seed but did some trash, pulled myself up the slide, and sat down shaking. I was really shook up and was calling out to my neighbor but his bedroom is on the other side of his house. And did i have my cell phone on me? Of course not. Thank the gods i did not fall head first into the frozen stream in temps in the teens and die there of exposure LOL (now but not then).Oh that was on Valentine’s Day so i fell for someone, LOL>
So i came back over his bridge and got it together and started calling my property insurance company. but it was late in the day. An adjustor and structural engineer came over within two days as stuff was collapsing up and down the east coast from the snow and ice. After analysis they said they would pay me its worth to replace with a used trailer bed today. I eventually had to claw my to the top of management but did get my check.
Broke Back Bridge
So now it was to thaw out and the stream might rise so i talked with my good neighbor and our concern was the flooding, which never came, would not carry an iron bridge downstream into his but might just tip on its side making a dam which then would cause the water to rise on both out house properties. I was eager to get it out of there and on my called called the local contractor our family uses and he had some down time due to the weather and had his trailer in the shop but he soon came out and pulled it out. He had the biggest baddest backhoe i have ever seen. And he could literally pull your boots off your feet unharmed with it, seriously. He pulled it out, took a torch and cut up the metal, hauled it away, and even borrowed rakes to rake up the debris from the frozen ground. I won’t even tell you his ridiculous price but it was one third what one would expect. So i paid him and got that back after my clawing with the insurance company.
Bridge Out in Pieces
Cinder Block Steps mostly intact
So, what does any of this have to do with Magicke and Witchcraft and Buddhism and even Shamanism?
Well, it seems the Naginis who live in the rapids so Not want a bridge there, hence the flooded bridge and the frozen collapsed bridge. I get it. So that insurance money goes into the bank and i came up with a Taoist “go with the flow do not try to resist water but bend with it” solution which only cost $50 in new materials and and $30 to rent a concrete drill.And when i had the drill i put a hole in the concrete liner i had put in the sump pump hole to keep groundwater from leaking in, soon finding out that that was the relief valve so now the whole cellar leaked various places when table was up. Duh, do Not try to resist water or the Naginis or the Goddess…
And i did it all myself, despite my back surgery and bad knees and dystonias causing myself a Lot of pain and suffering. I have no one to help me as my one cousin is always on the road and my bro constantly on call on the RR etc etc.etc. Yes i am a hard headed impatient OCD type when it comes to task like there. I hauled the 16 foot boards in my old VW hatchback believe it or not, hauled cinder block across my neighbor’s bridge using a purple plastic toboggan over the frozen ground. I put ring bolts into the ends of the boards, attached them to an eye bolt at the top of the embankment and used strong chain in between.
Experiment Number One with boards near water
Soon the rains came and i left the boards in place.Here is experiment number one from the bottom looking up the bank at my house. Another bigger rain came and i thought as an experiment to leave the boards in place and see if they just float down still attached as per below.
Experiment Two – put the boards up on the remaining course of cinder block across stream and put up on one course this side. Looking good until we Really can a decent flood, which Will come, but the boards will remain chained to the eye bolt at top. And since i am walking a little higher over a 10 inch wise stacked boards i use a long bamboo walking stick. one which broke during the ice storms. Now i just bought some lock tight sealer recommended to cement that block to the pier. Note – there is no metal over water, just wood. The metal is over the stone on the banks. Got it? Gotta get out there before the next rains come…
Experiment Number Two with boards higher.
Happy Nagini One with the TAO of Water and the TAO of the Bridge Builder Witch once again ! Blessed Be !