When hiking on hills, I have to remind myself to turn around.

In the moment it seems so important just to keep climbing, climbing, always ahead, but the real reward comes from a 180 degree turn, to look back and enjoy the fabulous scenery behind – after all that’s what climbing hills is all about – the view.

How about you?

In real life, I am so often engaged in forward planning that sometimes I forget to look back. When someone asks me “so how did it go last weekend?” I have trouble remembering what they are even talking about!

So this blog takes a moment to remember that April was not simply comprised of final exams, essay marking, adjudicating performance juries and recitals, but there was also some unalloyed amusement.

April’s ‘Gerlz nite out’ was watching a silent film about the history of the Hudson’s Bay Company, with improvised accompaniment by keyboardist Bill O’Meara. It may sound strange (and it was) but the film, made in 1920, was fascinating in the details of survival in the North, and European encounters with the First Nations of Canada.

Steve Reich’s concert at Massey Hall was performed to a packed house. The musicians were awesome, keeping in perfect sync through the 45 minute “Music for 18 instruments” and the audience was rabid with enthusiasm.

I had a lovely visit to Prince Edward County where vineyards grow right down to the shores of lake Ontario, the air is crystal clean and strangers talk to you! My friend Judith was a wonderful hostess, and we talked into the wee hours around her wood stove about our common, curious conundrum of widowhood.

Prince Edward County bounty

Prince Edward County bounty

I heard the charming Aslan Boy Choir’s final concert of the season, attended a dance workshop at York University led by Dancers of Damelahamid, a North West coast native dance troupe, saw ‘Carmen’ at the COC and was proud of my friend Teri Dunn, whose ‘Ragazzi’ performed like professionals. I had a long nature trail walk in the middle of the city with a friend encouraging me to explore meditation.

The month was topped and tailed by two performance in Waterloo – ‘Babel’ at Wilfrid Laurier University, and a joint concert with Pax Christi Chorale and Menno Singers, which afforded an opportunity to appreciate my own ancestral stomping grounds, to see the famous, newly unearthed ‘corduroy road’, purchase maple syrup from a Mennonite farmer, hang out with my parents and some old friends, and attend a Dutch Harness horse auction at St. Jacob’s market.

There are still many hills to climb ahead. The summer promises adventure, but true perspective requires a backward glance.

St Jacob's Market horse auction

St Jacob’s Market horse auction

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One Response to Always ahead

  1. Renée says:

    Stephanie, this essay is well-worth my reading, considering, and assimilating. And it was well-worth your writing, too, since it provided a nice format for you to summarize, to your freinds, your recent weeks. There’s a lesson here, too, of course –as you know. As Treherne said, give thanks “for blessings already received.”
    This is a lovely picture of you [and Judith?]. Your hair is really good, parted way over on the other! side.

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