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Calgary is under siege, torrents of water spilling over the banks of the Bow and Elbow rivers. Downtown is closed and the community where I work evacuated. Eyes glued to the TV screen, film clips stream in from all over the province: a mud slide eroding the Trans Canada, a house floats down the river, a brightly colored swing sets rises like a cheerful beacon from a lake of muddy water. It’s the first day of summer.

Tyler and I watched from our bicycles as a man in a kayak paddled towards higher ground. Emerging from the boat, his family surrounded him as he relayed a grim picture of the situation at home. His wife burst into tears.

Today I’m grateful for a fridge full of food, clean water to drink and a warm dry place to rest my head. I’m thankful for what I have and who I have. It’s amazing to me how, in the face of such destruction, a certain camaraderie emerges in a city of a million. All wanting to help, all wanting to do something to ease the devastation of strangers.

In the spirit of gratitude and thanks, a visual summary of Spring, 2013:

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