The thought of tying sandbags with metal wire throughout the night with bare hands and little light, while standing outside in the mud and a cold, relentless rain can best be described as bloody miserable.
Yet this is exactly how a small army of Sicamous residents chose to spend last Thursday night and Friday morning, stuffing and stacking sandbags, building a wall in Gwen Stead’s backyard along the bank of the overflowing Owl Head Creek.
The following day, when the sun was out and the creek had receded, Stead was gushing with joy and reverence for everyone who had given in one way or another to help save her home. Understandably, the experience was an emotional one for Stead, who admits she was moved to tears. Not from the imminent threat to her home, but by the incredible community effort, where Stead’s neighbours, family members and people she didn’t know, young and old, worked together with a selfless-single purpose.
Five months into 2012 and this area has already seen more than its share of tragedy and loss. That said, when and where there’s been a need for, or the opportunity to offer help, residents here have repeatedly exceeded expectations with awe-inspiring displays of sympathy, charity and support. This is all the more amazing when you take into account the fact that times are already pretty tough financially, for many.
In difficult times, it’s valuable to remind ourselves of the positives we have in our lives. One of the biggest, and sometimes the easiest to overlook, are the people around you. In Sicamous, this seems doubly true. Or maybe the aid Stead and others received in their times of need is all part and parcel of living in a small town, where, when the chips are down, whether you expect it or not, folks will have your back. That, in and of itself, is a pretty valuable asset to be acknowledged.