There’s Always Something There to Remind Me…

A statue of the Virgin Mary, her head bowed and hands reposed in prayer. The statue faces the riverfront in the township of Portage de Sioux, MO.
A statue of the Virgin Mary, her head bowed and hands reposed in prayer. The statue faces the riverfront in the township of Portage de Sioux, MO.

The weather here in Missouri has been really weird lately, even for Missouri, a state where the official weather motto¬† is “If you don’t like the weather, wait a day, it’ll change.”

Since it was 74 and sunny Monday, my husband and I decided to get outside and do something. We ended up taking a drive and explored the tiny township of Portage de Sioux. Even though it’s only twelve miles or so from our house, neither of us had ever been there before.

I wanted to see the town because a lead character in my current work in progress lives there. I have a book on loan from the library that details the history of the township, but I figured if I’m going to write about it, I should see it at least once to make my descriptions more realistic.

 
Portage de Sioux is where the Illinois, Missouri and Mississippi rivers converge. Because of its vicinity to so much water, the area is prone to flooding. In 1951 it appeared the town might get wiped out by a flood, so people from Portage de Sioux decided to pray that the town would be spared. In their prayer, they asked for the Virgin Mary to intercede for them and keep the township “high and dry.” In the prayer, they referred to Mary as Our Lady of the Rivers.

After their continual prayers the waters receded, the town was spared and the townspeople were overjoyed. But they felt that something should be done to show their appreciation to the Virgin for her help with their request. They decided on a shrine at the water’s edge, and called it Our Lady of the Rivers, which is the statue that you see above.

On the bottom of the pedestal that the statue stands on is a plaque that reads (in part):

This shrine is dedicated to the memory of that event and serves as both a reminder of the tremendous power of nature and a tribute to its incredible beauty.

Sometimes we all need a little reminder about the beauty and power of nature. For me, this means getting out and exploring a little with my camera or taking a walk.

How about you? How do you remind yourself of the power and beauty of nature? I’d love to hear your response about it in the comments section below :).