Thursday, 21 December 2017

Monday, December 18th, 2017

Edmonton, Alberta

The Ice and the Bird

It is not the most walker-friendly area to get around, but then again drivers in this industrial district are fairly courteous as the pujari (priest) and I maneuver along on foot.  This is day number two, when for an hour and more, we brave prairie-winter weather.  Actually, even that, we cannot complain about, because instead of the usual coarse temperatures at -20° Celsius or lower, you are looking at just below freezing.

The streets are glistening and without snow, meaning that white and black ice dominate as ground cover.  But in the sky, oh yes, in the sky, our feathered friend, the magpie, is truly in charge.  Have you ever seen or heard those aggressive creatures?  They seem to transcend.  They are tough birds.  I don’t see them flying south for the winter.  If it wasn’t for them, nature’s more jovial side wouldn’t be so present out here on the prairie.

Purbajaya, the pujari, doesn’t know much English—although he knows warmth and kindness—and the magpie is just one more item of the north he isn’t familiar with.  Well, I always say, “Get to know the place you’re in.  Familiarize yourself with your surroundings.  Know, at least, who’s the king of the sky around here.”

In this southern portion of Edmonton—where hockey really matters (the Oilers)—and being near the Radha-Govinda Cultural Centre, where I'm staying, you try to avoid the slip and slide of the ice.  Sidewalks are few; remember, it’s an industrial area.  To balance the easy life of the many hours of comfort in the centre, I am committed to meet the rawness of the outdoors and view those black, white and blue birds in the air.

I’m signing off for a program at the home of Yogendra.

May the Source be with you!

6 km

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