Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Calgary - Sink or Swim?

Calgary is basically in the middle of the Prairies. The two pseudo rivers that typically run through it are a far cry from real rivers that many of us grew up with. For the last few days however, our city has been awash with rain and flood water. An occurrence that we were told in 2008 was a once in a century happening.

It’s interesting to see how the stories have unfolded, how the city has banded together and the perennially negative have continued that way. I have stayed off social media for a reason, the local News has been sufficient and still I have heard all that I need to know. How many days or weeks will this situation be centre-stage in a city that is usually dry.

How long will the stories of disaster and loss be a part of our city’s psyche? I have discarded from my brain, the news items about sewage backup and looting, about people taking out their canoes on the fast moving river to get a better perspective (Darwin Award). Instead, I have tried to assimilate that strangers bring coffee to those cleaning up their yards and that there is a local plumber offering free service to those who need it. Then there’s the news segment of an elderly woman holding hands with her equally elderly spouse. “When I saw my deck floating away with all the flower pots intact, all I could do was laugh" she said. That is what I want to remember.

The Calgary Stampede is just around the corner, 9 days to bring the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth to life.
There are many who have been affected, and many who are working around the clock to put this show together. The Stampede might look different this year, but it will certainly deserve credit for being at all.

When the unexpected happens in your life, do you have the resources to pull your strength together? Do you have the resilience to quickly adopt Plan B? Will you continue to make things happen and not let this event identify you or will you use it as an excuse forever?

I heard someone say today that he wished his basement had flooded. Then, he would have to throw out everything that was left behind when his ex-wife walked out the door six years ago. Sometimes, we are forced into action but most often we get to make the decision. This man was not yet ready. Sadly, he won’t likely be around for a flood in the next century to make a decision to move ahead.

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