The Little Red by Tim Lasiuta
From time immemorial, the creek has flowed.
Its life blood, the swiftly flowing stream that has ebbed and surged has both moved and has been moved through the gently hilled landscape.
Around it, the land has been home to natives and immigrants for at least 12,000 years and possibly as long as 20,000 years. Migrating bands of natives had called this area home, using the rich resources of animal life and water supply to feed their people. Summer camps, winter camps and elk/buffalo pounds all lie beneath what we now call Red Deer.
“…If Shakespeare were here, he might write sonnets…”
Cree legends speak of the Great Spirit and what we now call the Medicine Hills noting events we deem to be 12,000 years ago.
With the arrival of immigrant settlers and the exploration of Central Alberta by Thompson and others, the dwindling supply of buffalo and the breaking of traditional land into settler lots the wandering creek still brought life but now became a symbol of a burgeoning settlement.
Mankind has traditionally settled near water, and the hamlet and later town, and city of Red Deer did the same. What was once viewed as a source of life was now a feature to be seen as an anchor to the wild beauty of the area. Like the elders of the native tribes before him, Kerry Wood fought for the natural areas in his beloved community and his hand is obvious for those who look.
We, as present citizens of the city of Red Deer, cannot ignore the legacy that the ‘keepers of the land’ left behind.
Pre-contact natives looked on this land as far as the eye could see and deemed it a blessing from the Great Spirit. Great chiefs looked on this land as their charge, and considered it a responsibility to protect the land.
Farmers look on their land as their responsibility to keep and protect for future generations.
Modern day urban and real estate planners look on priceless natural areas as part of urban development with an eye to profit than to protection.
Once upon a summer day, I wandered through the Bower area and I discovered a treasure.
Turning a corner into the east side of the green area by Bower Mall, the beauty of the wandering creek overwhelmed me. The summer day sun just magnified the greatness of the area. Birds sang songs to each other and the silence that encompassed the aerial arias was magnificent. The sheer experience of the time was priceless.
All around me the might trees swayed in a slight breeze and the warm air flowed around me. Looking north, south and east the hand of our Creator was obvious. True beauty cannot be bought, engineered, nor constructed by human hands.
Such is the heart of the jewel that is Red Deers natural areas.
This area, as seen in the photos cannot be replaced by a bridge, walkway, or overpass. In fact, the beauty of the area will be lost forever.
It is not hard to imagine that centuries ago young braves and their families set camp beside the creek and enjoyed life. If you could listen to the past, you might hear sounds of campfire conversations, drum circles, singing and laughing.
More importantly, they, like modern citizens today, and myself on this day, knew this was a special place that perhaps was sacred for some and just a place of rest for others.
If Samuel Taylor Coleridge were here, he might compose Xanadu.
If Shakespeare were here, he might write sonnets.
If the Sons of the Pioneers were here with instruments, they might compose a haunting song like “Blue Prairie,” or “The Touch of Gods Hand.”
An artist might paint a moving memory.
Young lovers from all eras might declare their everlasting love to each other.
Yet, we, as a city, are considering its desecration.
Today, it is a reminder that we cannot and should not consider turning this priceless area into a traffic zone.
We should never, ever forget that our responsibilities to shepherding and managing the land must consider environment over people every time.
Take a moment, look at these pictures and ponder…..Bridge or beauty….
Tim Lasiuta is a local writer with interests in history preservation, from environmental to pre-contact native archaeology, faith and telling stories that matter in Central Alberta. His work has appeared in Canadian Cowboy Country, True West Magazine, Mad Magazine, Alberta Venture, in published anthologies and Comic Buyers Guide.
You can contact Tim at email@example.com.
Read more stories on Todayville.com.
And Money Flowed in the Streets….
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…
Charles Dickens was a masterful writer with a superb grasp of the human psyche. In his Christmas Carol, which has been retold thousands of time since its original publication, he captured the penultimate human tragedy and richness: gratitude and thankfulness leads to an overflowing heart.
However, in this time in our world while every medical officer and professional is running the Covid 19 marathon, internet and news channel surfers are digesting every chart and update hungrily, and business men and women are looking to an uncertain future post crisis, people are discovering what is truly valuable.
We have witnessed the dismantling of sports empires worldwide-the NFL, NHL, MLB, MLS, PGA tours and other professional sports are now on pause for the 2020 season. Our entertainment industry, in addition to seeing Harvey Weinstein charged with sexual assault is also shut down worldwide. Business empires, so powerful in previous months are now powerless to resist falling sales and changing trend.
The gods of this world are now neutered, powerless, crownless and less significant everyday.
While public gatherings have been outlawed in numbers over 15, and social distancing has replaced conversation and relationships, families are spending more time together and hobbies are on the rise. I would venture to say that more people have never read so many books, or cooked so many cookies, or binged on Netflix or have been engaged with video entertainment than ever before.
On the positive side, crime rates are down. People are home so thieves are less likely to find empty homes.
The porn industry has shut down.
Houses are cleaner, and early spring cleaning is occurring.
Income tax season, while lengthened, will be less stressful for people.
Afternoon naps are now fashionable again.
People of faith can now find (or make) time to pray, read, and watch sermons and seminars online.
Music is more likely being played from all decades more often.
And then we consider the plight of the rich and entitled, when Covid 19 or any disease/condition enters their homes and robs them of health and a sense of well being…
Earlier today on whatsapp, a picture was posted with a quote from Sidhu, but it could also be from Ecclesiastes as well…
The richest people in Italy threw the money on the road and said, “This did not work in our bad times, we cannot save our loved ones, we cannot save our children, what is the use of this wealth? There is a lesson for those who value money more than humanity …. humbleness
Ecclesiastes 1: 1-4 states that, in the words of the teacher, son of David, king in Jerusalem that”
“Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher.
“Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.”
What do people gain from all their labors at which they toil under the sun?
Generations come and generations go, but the earth remains forever.”
In Italy, where Covid 19 has claimed thousands of victims, where a country is held hostage by something so small and insignificant, they have realized that no matter how much money they have, no matter now much power they have, that it cannot save their lives.
Their money, once a symbol of wealth and stature, now blows down empty city streets, rolling and curling in response to slight breezes and great gusts. Passers by walk by, pick up Euro every now and then and gaze upon the piles of powerless and valueless currency that pales in comparison to the greatest treasure of all: faith, humanity, health and humility.
The Red Deer Downtown Business Association opens up survey for downtown identity project.
The Red Deer Downtown Business Association (DBA) is proud to announce the launch of their survey to assist the DBA’s ongoing efforts of creating an identity for Downtown Red Deer. This survey will be used to gain feedback from citizens of Red Deer and surrounding communities on their thoughts of downtown.
The DBA is looking for 20 individuals that complete the 3 to 5-minute survey, to participate in a longer 20-minute interview in return for a $10 gift card to one of the specialty coffee shops in the core.
The Downtown Business Association has been operating in Red Deer for over 30 years, serving approximately five-hundred business owners in the Downtown area. Through partnerships and leadership in advocacy and promotion, the DBA is the catalyst for a vibrant and prosperous downtown that is the place to live, work, play and do business.
For more information, contact: Amanda Gould, Executive Director, Red Deer Downtown Businesses Association 403.340.8696
(originally published March 30, 2020)
Are your groceries dangerous? Facts from a Food Microbiologist
Canadian hockey players in isolation – You may need to enjoy this today!
List of “non-essential businesses” – Alberta COVID-19 update
Close contact businesses to be closed – Gatherings no larger than 15 people – Protection for renters
Top Story CP12 hours ago
Liberals delay release of wage subsidy details
#RedDeerStrong9 hours ago
And Money Flowed in the Streets….
Alberta18 hours ago
Premier Kenney addresses the province about a 1.5 billion investment in Keystone XL
Alberta1 day ago
Five Albertans die from COVID-19 today. Crack down on mandatory self-isolation. Provincial update (March 30)
Alberta2 days ago
Critically Important Planning Documents for All Albertans 18 and Over
Alberta2 days ago
Alberta doctors send letter asking government to delay health-care restructuring
Alberta1 day ago
Former Stampeders running back Tim Petros rose through Calgary football ranks
Alberta2 days ago
Parkland Fuel drains$300M from budget to deal with COVID-19 demand impact