Spring has sprung a leak

Spring has finally sprung in Winnipeg, although if you look at the sidewalks, you might think that Winnipeg has sprung a leak.

This past week, I was able to take my first springtime walk with a friend who was a frequent walking partner this same time last year. That walking season followed her first winter as a Winnipegger. However, the winter of 2020-21 involved a lot less snow than the one we are (hopefully) leaving behind us now.

Last year’s strolls through newly visible sidewalks have been replaced by a game of hopscotch between butter-soft snow banks and ankledeep puddles of water. Abandoning sidewalks to wantonly stroll in the middle of residential streets offered some small respite, but only because streets are wider than sidewalks and have a little more room for dry spaces between puddles.

It’s an especially wet spring that recalls memories from 25 years ago, when the army set up camp at the community centre next to my school in preparation for the flood of 1997. The heaviness of the scenario was lost on my sevenyear-old self, observing soldiers and community members building sandbag dikes along the Red River in St. Andrews.

Truthfully, I felt a little bit like a seven-year-old again while we dodged puddles, stopped to pet a puppy out for her first post-winter walk and hung my wet socks over the edge of the bathtub when I got back to my apartment.

Stay dry out there, folks.

Published in Volume 76, Number 22 of The Uniter (March 23, 2022)

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