Standing in a doorway I looked out into the night sky. The stars and moon were obscured by heavy cloud and a torrent rain drops shone for the shortest moment as they hurtled past a street light and smashed into the growing pool of water on the car park floor. The autumn rain strayed slightly on a gust of wind and my hands and face became dappled with its cool touch as I stood motionless in the door. While the tactile experience was pleasant for the briefest moment, the coldness it carried served as a reminder of the falling temperatures and vulnerable nature of the human form against the elements and the turning of the seasons.
My eyes were drawn to the shifting patterns of light and water at the base of the street light. In my travels that evening I had seen the same forms in many locations. Pedestrians scurried around the pools before passing vehicles sent the water erupting into the air and crashing onto the pavements. Within the woodlands and wilder areas the rain would be battering onto the fallen leaves and low grasses before seeping into the ground to sustain the flora & fauna, but in the urban realm it builds, waiting for overloaded drains and sewers to carry it to the low lands to pass on the flooding problem or filtering to a soft verge where the ground quickly becomes waterlogged and the vegetation sits stranded keeping its leaves and blades held aloft as its roots become drenched.
The turbulent pools serve me a reminder of the overcrowding we are subject to in these lands. Swathes of nature are replaced by tarmac and roof. The run off swamps the soft grounds (or a part Sustainable Urban Drainage System as developers like to call them) and fill the rivers. The power and wealth of these lands is its rainfall, but the only way to manage and harness it is to understand nature, landscape, geology and ecology. Still, we grow and we build in the hope of economic revival. It seems overcrowding is like an elephant in the room, an unwanted and unpopular word while politically minded people talk about growing the economy, building more roads and houses.
I wonder how long before we are drowning in our own wealth.