It is that time of day, that time when the slow blood takes over and a calm awareness comes about and pulls everything into focus. The streets are sparse, no cars, no people, no garbage save the occasional broken bottle of Saturday poison. The lip of the valley is my home and I am walking in my home. The valley is staggering at this time of year. Quilts of green, impossibly distant from the terrible bowels of February, lay out as far as one can see. The May trees are sticking out their perfumed necks, inviting me for a little smooch; the western sky does the same with its hot red orange pink cheeks. The city is tumbling into slumber under soft bluered floes. Life is apparent in the buildings, their yellow lights so full of Sunday romance; the occasional cars are soft and living, far from Monday’s jam, distant from Friday’s sprint. Late flocks of geese pass overhead, assuring me that I’m not here alone. The valley is around me, new and heavy green, heady and bold, narrow and sad. I pass under trees and stop to notice the quiet, the here and now. The soft focus, the solid footing. The way of the paved woodland path. It is nearly dark now and that time of day has slipped away once again, this time fully enjoyed. It’s Monday tomorrow. There is still a sliver of Sunday left.
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?