On July 30th there was a flash flood in Lockwood and Ozena Valleys. A series of thunderstorms dropped several inches of rain in a couple of hours, and the enormous amount of water that came down the Lockwood Valley Road turned to the north and completely flooded our temple grounds, leaving behind a thick layer of mud and sand. The houses are raised and were not affected, but our workshop and barns were flooded, roads and paths washed out, irrigation systems destroyed and the Stupa court and gardens covered in sand and mud. In other words, 15 years of landscaping was wiped away in a few hours, like a Tibetan sand painting.
Fortunately no harm came to people or pets, but the groundsquirrels and rabbits and probably snakes that live underground suffered badly.
Thanks to an outpouring of many kind donations we were able to hire two men who operated a big road grader and a backhoe. In one day’s work they leveled the roads which had been gouged out by the torrents of water running over our property, graded the roads to shed water better, and dug water diversions for the future. Later in August, we were able to hire a work crew from Taft who cleaned the mud out of our workshop, from the stupa surround, and the storage barn—really hard work. They also repaired a fence, and cleaned out all the rain gutters and water access boxes, which had filled with mud. These men needed the work, as their regular job is roofing, which is hard to come by at the moment. So our cleanup job in the end was beneficial to many people and gave a real sense of our interconnectedness.
We will continue with Saturday work mornings through the fall, as there is still a lot to do—particularly in the gardens, which were buried in a layer of silt and sand.