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Hannah Shields When the River Starts to Rise - Bridge

“Stand tall and proud, if you love this place.”

Having a bad day?  Life got you down? Watch and listen to this song by 15-year-old High River resident Hannah Shields as she sings “When The River Starts to Rise” about hope and resilience in the face of overwhelming adversity.

“Hold you head up.  Put a smile on your face.
Stand tall and proud, if you love this place.”

Most of the rest of the world has already forgotten the devastating floods that affected tens of thousands of people near Calgary this past summer, but the town of High River is still rebuilding and life is far from ‘normal’ for those living and working there.

She started work on the song a day or two after she and her family evacuated their home with little more than the clothes on their backs.  Hopping from friend’s house to hotel every day or two, not knowing what was happening to their home, she was resilient.   After finally getting clearance to return to their home weeks later, her room had been under water and most everything she was familiar with was destroyed.  Except her guitar, which they had managed to store on the top level of the house before they departed.  She retrieved it, and was happy.  She was able to see the light at the end of the tunnel and she “will refuse to sink.”

Her song was made a reality with the support of a great team of friends and family, Director Trevor Smith says shooting the video was a way to “keep our mind off the struggle of rebuilding”.  While you may shed a tear (or start to sob) watching When the River Starts to Rise, know that Hannah has helped you to be a bulwark against future troubles.

“Hold you head up.  Put a smile on your face.
Stand tall and proud, if you love this place.”

Disclaimer: Hannah is my niece.  I’ve lived in High River.  My mother, grandmother, and brother’s families are featured in the video.  I’m a proud Uncle.