Warmth and Inspiration

 Have not been too inspired of late, but here is my weekly offering in the form of my column:

            This never-ending winter has many of us hunkered down and if not hibernating at least wishing that was an option. I, however, have done my part. On March 1st I took down the wreath I had on my front door which featured a snowman and put up a new more seasonal wreath. Or at least it is a wreath that I hope becomes seasonal soon. It sports pink and lime green hydrangeas and looks quite lovely in contrast to all the white that envelops us.

            After I put the wreath on the front door on Saturday, my husband, John and I travelled to Kitchener to go to a wedding and when we got back yesterday I made the disappointed observation that my tactic did not work. Apparently springtide was not attracted to my symbolic gesture—so I will just have to accept that while it may not be around the immediate corner, the warm season is at the end of a long jaunt filled with ice craters, snow piles, and deep car-eating ruts in the road.

            The road trip to Kitchener was uneventful—but a bit dicey on the way home yesterday. One of the things that John and I do to make the trip more enjoyable is play music from our misspent youths. I am sure that John has now had his fill of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and in particular one of my favourite ballads of all times: “Our House”. I love the melodic tale it tells and will share some of the words with you now. I would share the whole thing, but I think there are copyright issues:

I’ll light the fire, You put the flowers in the vase, That you bought today–

Staring at the fire, For hours and hours, While I listen to you, Play your love songs,
All night long for me, Only for me–

Come to me now, And rest your head for just five minutes, Everything is good,
Such a cosy room, The windows are illuminated, By the sunshine through them
Fiery gems for you, Only for you…….”

And my favourite verse of all: “Our house is a very, very fine house
With two cats in the yard, Life used to be so hard
Now everything is easy’, Cause of you…..”

            This song embraces “home” to me—warmth, contentedness, love, and the fact that life can be hard, but the people you surround yourself with can make it so much easier. So in this vast coldness and Arctic vortex winter, we can be warmed by words until the sun shines a little warmer.

            The other song that John had to put up with on our road trip was from the movie “Frozen”. I picked up the soundtrack from Costco for less than $9 if anyone is interested and we listened to the song “Let It Go” in its various renditions. I particularly love track 10 which is the Demi Lovato version of the song—her voice soars and makes the words come alive. Just the words “Let It Go” have a power in themselves and each of us can translate them to mean what we want them to—I am sure all of us have to let something go in order to make room for other and better things. Here is a sample of some of the words I found particularly inspiring, and coming from the movie “Frozen” seem very apropos to the weather we have been having: “Let it go! Let it go! I am one with the wind and sky,

Let it go! Let it go! You’ll never see me cry,

Here I stand and here I’ll stay

Let the storm rage on….”

            Though winter is not done with us yet and “rages on”, I will take the lilting words of the “Frozen” song to heart and “Let It Go” all the while dreaming of “Our House” with a warm fire, fresh flowers in a vase, and cats in the backyard. In reality though it has to warm up for my cat to venture out—he sniffs the cold air and hightails it back in the house dreaming of adventures and warmer days. So while I dream of those days too, I will adjust my spring wreath and put on my big boots until nature finds it in her heart to warm up the environs.

Published in: on March 4, 2014 at 7:50 am  Comments (34)  
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Hazy Days of Summer

Union Jack Tent from Decathlon by Quecha

Union Jack Tent from Decathlon by Quecha (Photo credit: dullhunk)

The words “a white tent pitched by a glassy lake, well under a shady tree”…. were haunting me recently, so I Googled them and found the rest of the words to the song. It brings me back to the days when I attended a one room school (when the dinosaurs were still roaming the earth, according to my youngest son), and part of our day included not only readin’, ‘riting and ‘rithmetic , but singing.

In the morning we sang God Save the Queen (in the years before O Canada replaced it) facing the Canadian version of the Union Jack (before 1965 when our maple leafed flag was born)  then recited the Lord’s prayer (when this was still allowed in public school).  At the end of the day we sang songs for fun before we were out the door and on our way home. I remember one of our favourites was Puff the Magic Dragon as well as the aforementioned  song that would not leave me in peace until I found all the words to it.

The enigmatic song that was playing an endless loop in my head is called  “A Canadian Camping Song”, and in my cursory search I found that it seemed to be part of the government of the day’s approved curriculum. While my research was only glancing, I could not come up with a song writer.

The words to the song evoke June days when exams were done and we were putting in time before the summer holidays. So for those of you curious about the words to the rest of the song, here they are:

A Canadian Camping Song

A white tent pitched by a glassy lake,

Well under a shady tree.

Or by rippling rills from the grand old hills

Is the summer home for me.

I fear no blaze of the noontide rays,

For the woodland glades are mine,

The fragrant air, and that perfume rare,

The odour of forest pine.

Chorus:

The wild woods, the wild woods

The wild woods give me;

The wild woods of Canada.

The boundless and free.

The song epitomizes summer for me—and in this, our first real week of official summer, it reminds me of the last days of June, sitting at my desk, just waiting for the summer holidays to begin. The days of summer stretched out seemingly forever—full of baseball in the back yard, chores around the house, riding my bike, reading in my favourite tree, and walking with my sister to the local corner store for a pop and chocolate bar.

If anyone knows who wrote this little ditty, let me know.