Anger and Wrath (Part I)

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, September 26, 2014 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

The River Moe was home to all sorts of life. Fish swam up and down the Moe, while much other wildlife came to the river for a drink of the fresh water. Trees were numerous, healthy, and home to many birds. Downriver, the Moe descended over a plateau with a large waterfall. At the head of the waterfall, a large tower stood with full view of the surrounding landscape. After the waterfall, the Moe spread out into a delta, feeding a lush marshland, before merging together again on its path to the ocean. Upriver, the Moe descended from a huge dormant volcano, Raw, whose glacier provided the source of the river.

The Moe was usually a peaceful river. As it descended from Raw, it rumbled with excitement and jubilance, and as it entered the plateau, it calmed down into a gentle, peaceful river. The tumbling of the waterfall over the edge of the plateau was not angry but soothing. The pool at the base of the waterfall was calm and still, but constantly refreshing with new water. When the rains came, the Moe would swell and provide water for numerous farms. But in times of drought, the Moe would shrink. In severe drought, there were times where parts of the riverbed ran dry and the only water source came from tributaries joining the Moe.

But one day a disaster happened. Raw, the dormant volcano, woke up. From time to time, Raw would rumble a little, letting some steam and ash out, but then settle down. This time, it blew up, much like Mount St. Helens did. The entire top of the volcano shot out in all directions. The explosion sent a pyroclastic cloud tumbling down the mountain, incinerating everything in its path, leveling trees and annihilating cabins. The heat and pressure melted the glacier almost instantly and sent it roaring down the mountain. The ash, dirt, boulder, water, all gathered to form a lahar, a violent mud slide that tears up anything and everything in its path. In its wake, the lahar ate up the river bed and carved a canyon out of the side of the mountain.

Downriver into the plateau, the mud, ash, and debris from the lahar settled out, but the Moe flowed much faster and much more violently. In its wake, the Moe no longer left the gentle sloped river bed. It now had steep, near vertical cliffs, now five to ten feet tall and as wide as the river in its heavy flooded state.

The excessive water approached the waterfall and the tower at high speeds. The force of the river shook the tower, but it held firm, thanks to a very deep, strong foundation. However, the riverbed at the head of the waterfall disintegrated as the water shot out from the plateau, with a huge berth. The force of the impact of the high-speed water tore up the landscape around the pool, wiping out trees and moving boulders.

The Moe roared towards the marshland, completely flooding it. It formed a few new lakes and burst through the natural dams of other lakes in the marshland. The river bulled over several trees and they settled right where the waters of the marshland merged. In this whole process, the Moe carved out a new river bed, redirecting the river. It eventually made its way back to its original bed before emptying into the ocean.

The River Moe eventually calmed down and returned to a regular flow, but the damage had been done. The canyons it formed were permanent. The trees and wildlife would return but it would never be the same. The landscape had been scarred forever. The mountain, Raw, no longer had the cone top. Instead, a crater remained. The glacier would take years to re-grow, but with a roughly 1000-foot loss of altitude from the explosion, it would not be as big or be able to support the amount of water it used to carry.

The once soft and moist river bed solidified into solid rock, leaving the Moe in a small canyon across the plateau and the plains below. At the waterfall, a gaping gash now stood as the waterfall’s height was now only 2/3 of what it used to be, with steep walls on both sides of the riverbed. But the tower remained standing firm. The foundation was completely exposed but it remained upright.

More canyons were formed from the pool of the waterfall to the marshland. The pool was now only a fraction of what it used to be as the river bed was now lower compared to the pool’s depth. The Moe sent only a trickle of water into the marshland due to the redirection of the river. But with the little flow into the marshland and with the blockade at the end of the marshland, the waters in the marsh grew stagnant. Bacteria and mosquitoes began to multiply and animals that drank from the marshland soon began to get sick. In a short time, the marshland would turn into a dank, mucky bog. All this disaster and destruction was caused by a single volcanic eruption. Why do I tell you this story? Every element in this story is a picture of something else. The River Moe, the Volcano Raw, the waterfall, the glacier, the pool, the marshland, the blockade, and the land itself – all of it is a picture, a metaphor, of what could happen with an eruption of anger. I will let your imagination go from here but stay tuned! Next week, I’ll explain the metaphors.