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 protected].
Read more stories on Todayville.com.
Understanding My Own Grief was Life changing for Me
Understanding My Own Grief was Life changing for Me
A personal story:
“…I connected with the PCN program through my doctor’s recommendation. I have always been a thirsty learner of better ways to navigate through life. The Coaches of the program Journeying through Grief showed up every day with their humanness and wisdom.
I appreciated their loyalty to improve our wellness through learning to manage our grief. They were willing to be vulnerable in a way I have never seen in any kind of therapy or counselling. Their own histories with grief nurtured my trust and receptivity to the information.
They shared their personal experiences in dealing with life’s challenges. For me, I would describe my experience as emotional debridement. I am thankful for the contribution and support of everyone in the class. Several of us had mastered supporting others but needed to learn how to do this for ourselves.
Connection with empathy as in this group is nothing less than GOLDEN in creation of a better life of wellness in arguably a better world. Reflectively I now feel that my own grief was due initially to the loss of my dreams too quickly as important people did not believe in me. Not learning how to handle this made subsequent losses more difficult to manage.
I learned that dealing with grief is a journey and to never give up. If things get tough, have faith that things will get better soon…”
About Red Deer Primary Care Network (RDPCN): We are a partnership between Family Doctors and Alberta Health Services. Health professionals such as psychologists, social workers, nurses and pharmacists work in clinics alongside family doctors. In addition, programs and groups are offered at the RDPCN central location. This improves access to care, health promotion, chronic disease management and coordination of care. RDPCN is proud of the patient care offered, the effective programs it has designed and the work it does with partners in health care and the community.
Learn more about the Primary Care Network.
Germany reaches to younger audience with viral Covid-19 public service campaign
Sometimes in the tsunami of news coming from south of the border, we forget there are other countries fighting wars, having elections, and trying to win the battle against a pandemic that is wreaking havoc with their people and their economies.
Germany has been a leader in this since the start and after a summer of relatively low infection rates, is now facing a far bigger second wave. They’ve been leaders in testing and tracing initiatives and while its caseload climbed in the early stages, the number of deaths remained lower than many countries hardest it. Now the country is seeing its second wave and it’s much more dramatic with nearly four times as many infections.
A series of public service announcements have been produced to help convince the population to stay at home, and they’re funny.
The humorous campaign focuses on the idea of “Coronavirus Heroes”. It’s shot in a documentary style and features older people reflecting on how they fought the pandemic when they were young. The three clips are featured below and they all contain English sub-titles. Enjoy!
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