Monday, August 31, 2015

So Soon A Season

If you're wondering where she is, this little birdie is instructed to tell you that she has not flown the coop. She is well. She has been enjoying the warm days of summer, but she finds it strange to be saying farewell to August already. Surely not?

But if crows are gathering, little brown bats not normally around here are finding solace on a summer day in the peek of our umbrella, and female humming birds consider our garden a stoppinghouse as they prepare to head south, then we guess it really must be so.

Anyone who has followed this blog a while will know that we love, love all that autumn and September offer us, but at this moment we are dragging our toes just a teeny bit when we think about turning the calendar page tomorrow. No doubt in the morning I shall feel quite differently, but it seems a shame that our long summer days have so soon grown short.

In the village store someone
says, "I heard the geese go over," and
there is a moment of silence.
Why this is so moving, I do not know.
But all of us feel it.
~ Gladys Taber 
(as read in Susan Branch's Autumn book)

One of summer's delights this year was to join with my mom in watching the unfurling of her new Peace Rose -- a birthday gift from her son and his family. From tight buds edged with red to the soft yellow bloom tinted pale pink to the wide open rose in deep yellow.

Pure pleasure. It was interesting to note that it smelled the sweetest once it had completely opened, as if spilling all she had into one final perfect moment. On reflection, there might be a lesson somewhere in that last sentence for those of us who find ourselves in our later blooming season.

On that note, dear beautiful friends,
may your glimpses be as beautiful in those unexpected places,

Linking with Mosaic Monday

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Rudbeckia Brilliance

When I was a girl living on our family farm in rural Alberta, my mom used to say that she could tell when summer was coming to an end when she'd notice the hollyhocks peering through the kitchen windows.

Nowadays, my home is in the city and I don't have hollyhocks growing by my kitchen window, but I can still tell the time of year -- and that autumn is surely drawing near -- when my yellow rudbeckia flowers tower next to our living room bay window.

As you see below, they tower over me too. They add quite the cheery corner with their tall stems.

I love to watch them bend and blow in the breeze. Free form dance, I call it. And, I love their huge, yellow petals that are like brilliant drops of sunlight against their greenery.

It's with a happy heart I offer you my glimpse of heaven from my little corner of the world today.
Sending you hugs and wishes for a beautiful day,

Monday, August 10, 2015

Memoir Moment: The Piano

Some of my earliest childhood memories revolve around the beautiful 1900's piano that once sat like a grand lady in the corner of our cozy farmhouse living room. That piano—now in my own front room—surely played a key role in our family life, adding a musical lilt, not to mention 'a little culture' to Mom's growing brood.

As a girl, I loved to sit beside Mom to watch her play in the evenings after the day's work was done. Her fingers would fly across the keys while Dad relaxed in his easy chair listening, eyes sometimes closed. A peaceful, restful calm would settle around us. It's a cozy feeling I've never forgotten.

 Only a year old and I was already taking joy in making 'music'

Mom was determined that her kids would get to take piano lessons and I started lessons in Grade 2. My teacher, Miss Norah L. Thompson, a gentle teacher, was a classically trained English woman, who'd come to Canada to live. Taking lessons was exciting for me, and a little nerve-wracking at first. What if I didn't remember what the notes were, but it all eventually stuck, learning my scales and finding out about famous composers as we studied little pieces based on their works.

 Little Blondie smiling at the thought of one day playing the piano,
 just like her momma

Once I learned to read music, I then loved to tinkle the upper keys when Mom played. Mom had no formal lessons but had a great love for the piano and a natural gift. You see, she could play by heart, something I yearned as a little girl to do. (I used to even dream I could play without notes, but alas I'd wake up to find I still played better reading the notes, although I became a whiz at chopsticks.) 

Although my mom didn't play classical music, she was amazing with the beautiful, old hymns we used to sing in church. I still love to hear her play them to this day. I think it was listening to her, as a little girl, that stirred not only my own love for music and the piano, but maybe a love for God, too. Hearing melodies that stirred my soul then and now, not to mention belting out the faith-stirring words as we played -- what pleasure it gave us!

"Prayer is when you talk to God. Meditation is when you're listening.
Playing the piano allows you to do both at the same time."

It wasn't until I was older that I truly valued the gift Mom and Dad gave us -- their love for beautiful music, and the opportunity to take lessons from Miss Thompson. I owe an incalculable debt to my parents and to my teacher.

Mom, thanks for pushing me to practice those early days when I preferred reading over doing scales. For I always loved playing the piano, it was just the practicing that wasn't as fun. As a child, I certainly never clued in to the fact that it was the practicing, the scales, and the theory that would help create a foundation for a joy of playing that has lasted my whole life. I am grateful for them now.

And, so dear beautiful readers, there's my little story. Did any of you take piano lessons as a child?  Do you still play? 

Sending musical thoughts your way today,