Growing up, winter felt eternal. Promise of warmth came in the form of running water: in the streets and engorged river. Spring ritual never came with the budding of flowers or early morning calm a ray of sun can bring.

Neighborhoods came together to fill sandbags to fortify the riverbed and complain about sugar beet and potato crop yields. Spring of my childhood promised class trips to Sandbag Central. The return of orange construction cones and alternate roads because main roads were flooded. The warmth of those who fought the Red River year after year symbolizes Spring for me.


In response to Carrot Ranch flash fiction challenge: “In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that is a snapshot of spring.”

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9 thoughts on “Symbols of Spring

  1. Great flash that I can relate to. As a child I looked forward to floods willing the water higher but it never made the new house which had replaced the one that had been innundated with water before my time. As an adult I wonder how I could have been so stupid not realising how devastating it is and the dangers associated with flood waters.
    We used to sing a song when I was a kid about the Red River Valley but it was so romantic and sad that I didn’t think of it flooding.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It was actually one of my first grade piano pieces but we used to love singing it.
        RED RIVER VALLEY
        From this valley they say you are going
        We will miss your bright eyes and sweet smile
        for they say you are taking the sunshine
        That has brightened our pathways a while.

        Come and sit by my side if you love me
        Do not hasten to bid me a -dieu
        Just remember the red river valley
        And the one who has loved you so true.

        For a long time, my darling, I’ve waited
        For the sweet words you never would say
        Now at last all my fond hopes have vanished
        For they say that you’re going away

        Then come and sit by my side if you love me
        Do not hasten to bid me a -dieu
        Just remember the red river valley
        And the one who has loved you so true.

        Liked by 1 person

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