Some people might call me crazy. During a major economic downturn, why would I leave a full-time, decent paying union job with pension and benefits? That’s a big risk to take at 36 years old. Maybe I am crazy. After all, I don’t know if this is truly the right career path for me. But this idea has been at the back of my head for a long time.
While the warmth of summer unfolds, I invariably find myself repeating my French father’s wartime food scavenging habits. Family karma asserts itself, and I find myself eagerly eyeing the raspberry and rhubarb plants edging the laneways while imagining tasty concoctions.
Our summer is so short that it seems shameful not to enjoy the season to the utmost. A summer stroll takes on more dimensions when you stop to pick food and mentally savour the fresh taste of your harvest. Knowing I’m getting much-needed exercise makes me feel virtuous. This virtuous feeling is further enhanced when I think of the copious quantities of vitamin C contained in both rhubarb and raspberries.
Night was approaching as I stood by the river, thinking of closure. The beauty of the water, a calm swath winding through low green banks, filled me with appreciation.
I was here because my partner, Larry Loyie, a proud Cree man, writer, and educator died three months before at 82 years old. He asked that his ashes be laid here by the river during the family’s annual gathering, in a traditional Cree way.
A smile lights Kushok Lobsang Dhamchöe’s face as he queries a young guest at the Alberta Centre for Peace and Meditation, on the corner of 101 Street and 114 Avenue.
Fondly known as Kushok, the spiritual director of Gaden Samten Ling Tibetan Buddhist Meditation Society has been offering teachings and meditation practice to Edmontonians for 16 years. But his journey here was not always so bright.
Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (AUPE) members and other Edmontonians put in 128 hours to pull over 30 bags of trash, seven coffee cans filled with sharps, three shopping carts, two bicycles and assorted parts, a workout bench and a large round table out of Edmonton’s river valley at a clean-up event and barbeque on Sunday, Aug. 21.