So rivers, and rising rivers, and flood stories are part of my narrative, shall we say. Every spring, as we watch the river rising, we ask, "Remember the year school was cancelled for days because the water was over the road and the buses couldn't get through?" Or "Remember the year when the water and ice took the bridge out?"
|Road closures during spring flooding in April 2014|
|Water covers the flats, and will soon be over the road here, as it is most every year.|
|The brook at home on the farm, spring 2014|
|The old barrels which capture the water from a spring and where the cattle used to drink. April 2014.|
|The old farmhouse with the swollen river in the distance. Photo thanks to my sister Connie.|
Of course it's always serious for anyone affected by floods. Farmers whose livelihood is endangered. Small businesses which can't really afford to stay closed for even a few days. People who have to evacuate their homes and then face a heartbreaking return. And let's not even get into the devastation of floods in other parts of the world, where lives and whole communities are lost. But for us, as kids growing up, the rising river simply meant the possibility of drama, and maybe a few days off school.
|The road down to the ferry. Photo courtesy of my sister Connie|
And I thought... wow....what a cool idea for the "great Canadian novel." Because the change of seasons, the slow ebb of winter and the coming of spring, is such a part of our psyche in Canada. And rivers are such a great metaphor for the passage of time, for growing up, or growing old.
It's been years since I thought of that, even though I've written about that idea before on the blog. My sisters have moved since then, ironically both remain connected to rivers. One still lives within spitting distance of the Saint Lawrence, although in a different town, and the other can now see the Credit River from her balcony, instead of the Upper Saint John. And Mum has moved just across the driveway from the old farmhouse into her new little home, her view of the Saint John River unchanged. We all face different challenges now, but I like to think that we're all still connected by our rivers.
I never did do anything about writing that novel. Although every spring when I look at the ice moving out I think about it. A flood story for the new millennium?
Well... maybe next spring.
How about you my friends? Any flood stories in your "narrative"?
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