Out at Elk Island with Justine and the golden dog on Saturday and it was beautiful. Perfect temp – about 17 above – no skeeters, few wasps, and the trees were resplendent in their fall frocks. The yellow and yellows were everywhere, gorgeous and graceful. A dozen coyotes sighted; stoic bison only at distance. Few humans, fewer canines. The trails were perfect – lazily stretching out and begging for a slow walk, a slow-pour intake of the surroundings. Not crowded. Saw nary a person on our three hour hoof. The silence out there was powerful. That dead-ass, ‘hear your own ventricles’ silence had quite an effect. At first it was unreal and off putting. Then it became something like a dream, one that is almost unimaginable in the city. But it was so sweet out there. All that nothing had a weight.
The yellowed grass underfoot, the fallen brush, the horizon golden with sugared trees. It was all so delicious. All so beautifully fleeting. All so yellow. Occasionally the tall grass would bow in the light breeze. Occasionally I had to wipe my brow even though it was the end of September. Once in a while a pheasant stirred in the bush, sounding like a muffled egg beater in the branches. Often, and only for a moment if the sun hit just right, I saw spider webs dangling delicately across the path. We kept walking, and the sun kept the time.
StreetRag is an urban weblog and podcast about the city of Edmonton, which is located in the province of Alberta, Canada. It is authored by Edmonton-based writer, web advocate, and poet Michael Gravel and is updated frequently with written urban vignettes, amateurish photographs, deuteronomous audio material, barely coherent musings and rambling ecumenical treatises. StreetRag is a love letter to a lonely prairie burg struggling with its big city ambitions and small-town feel.
The city is Edmonton. It's a subject, not a passion. E-Town is almost universally derided by outsiders as an unlivable tundra wasteland populated by oil-hungry redneck conservatives who despise the arts. All of that is true. But it's not the whole story. There is beauty here. Dusty snowfalls. Brilliant summers. A stunning river valley. A diverse arts community that flourishes. It's a place that inspires a gray relationship - not all good, not all shitty. For that reason alone it is lovable, for what is life but a grayscale?