BoyleBits

Focus on the Warmth

Summer is usually such an uplifting season. We bask in the warmth of the sun and spend more time outdoors. I weed my garden and the microbes in the soil that are supposed to boost serotonin production do their magic.

But I notice that summer looks different in Boyle Street than it has the last few years. For one thing, there are more people out pushing grocery carts with all their worldly possessions piled into them. I’ve also noticed that when walking the streets fewer people say hello. Almost always the “cart people” greet me, but fewer of the housed persons reply to my “hi!”.

I wonder if the two are not related somehow. I have generally found the homeless to be more similar to me than different. I know some neighbours who post sightings of the homeless and warn neighbours to lock up their goods. I’ve had a few things stolen from my porch and it angers me. I don’t know if the negative reaction to increased presence of the homeless in our midst is the result of thefts or simply unkind stereotyping. These homeless people at one time congregated outside of Boyle Street Community Services. But because of the proximity to Rogers Place they have been asked to move, lest game goers be “forced” to encounter them as though they were to be considered lepers.

Also in my neighbourhood I see devout Muslims walk to mosque in unseasonably hot weather and recognize that, during Ramadan, not eating or drinking water from sunrise to sunset is more challenging when the days are so close to the Summer Solstice.

My thoughts also turn to politics and though I don’t follow world affairs closely, I can’t help but feel uneasy at the craziness of the leader of our southern neighbour. Why I should fret about things I cannot change escapes me, but I worry nonetheless.

All in all, despite everything I see in this season of discontent I am going to focus on the good things. I will bask in the sun which warms my blood. I will take the opportunity to chat with people as we meet in the street. I will live in the moment. I will make the best of the season.

More in this issue

Neighbourhood Views

  • MUSE Awards – The Edmonton Muse, an online magazine dealing with local art, culture, and music, celebrated its first anniversary on May 25. As part of the celebration at the Starlite Room, awards were handed out to several Edmontonians making a difference. Boyle McCauley News Editor Paula E. Kirman was the first recipient for her involvement in a number of volunteer, non-profit groups. Marissa Loewen

  • MUSE Awards – The Edmonton Muse, an online magazine dealing with local art, culture, and music, celebrated its first anniversary on May 25. As part of the celebration at the Starlite Room, awards were handed out to several Edmontonians making a difference. One of the recipients was Sinder Sparks, founder of The Musical Mamas Society, a group of women musicians from in and around the area. Paula E. Kirman

  • New Community Space at Bissell Centre – Ryan Arcand presents Gary St. Amand, CEO of Bissell Centre, an eagle staff at the grand opening of Bissell Centre’s new community space in its west building, on June 11. The drop-in has improved access to basic needs and support services. Paula E. Kirman  

  • Editor Receives Award from ESPC – Boyle McCauley News Editor Paula E. Kirman received the Edmonton Social Planning Council’s Award of Merit for Advocacy of Social Justice on May 24. She is pictured between ESPC Research Coordinator John Kolkman and his wife Kate Quinn, both McCauley residents and founders of the paper. Melissa Scott

  • Portrait of a Caterpillar – Gord Currie is an Ambrose Place resident who has taken up photography to cope with the challenges in his life. Here is an example of his work. He says that he has gone from “poverty to photography” and gives credit for this photo “to the caterpillar for being a good subject.” Gord Currie

  • Harbin Gate Memories – Memories written about the Harbin Gate hang on the fence where it was removed for Valley Line LRT construction. Paula E. Kirman

  • Graffiti Artists at Work – Graffiti artists made original creations during Hip Hop in the Park on May 26 at Boyle Street Plaza. Paula E. Kirman

Around the Neighbourhood

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Next Issue . . .

Our next issue is September. Articles and photos concerning community news, events, and opinions are welcome. We also encourage submissions of poetry, and cartoons (in JPG or PDF format). Deadline: August 12. Send submissions to: editor@bmcnews.org. Articles should be 400 words or less and accompanied by photographs (JPG, in high resolution) when possible.