This photo was taken recently in Brandon MB, near the banks of the overflowing Assiniboine River. I heard tonight that the sandbanks surrounding the city are holding back a wall of water that is twelve feet higher than the adjacent roadway.
It was a cold winter on the prairies, no question, but not quite enough to produce a post-glacial lake. It has been 13,000 years since Lake Agassiz covered the area; we're in no rush to see its return.
The whole situation is rife with superlatives and extreme measures. The biggest flood in over three hundred years, over a thousand roads closed in the province, the planned breach of a dike resulting in the sacrifice of many to save many more. I would not want to be the one making the sorts of decisions that are required to deal with this flood.
It's another world around here, two provinces over.
For the first time this year, temperatures have breached the 20C mark. I bared my feet and slipped on sandals. And then I crawled out of the winter hibernaculum and raked lawns, swept a winter's worth of grit and spruce needles out of the garage, turned the outdoor tap back on and attached the hose; it's as leaky as it ever was.
The patio furniture is now in place, the big patio umbrella awaits the call for summer drinks and shady havens.
I can't help but feel a little guilty, and a lot blessed.