Thursday, May 27, 2010

Music, Memories and 15 weeks

A year or so back we were reading the Book of Mormon as a family - and one of us read from a facsimile edition. Occasionally words and whole phrases would be quite different between the old edition and the current one. The phrase that struck us the most was in describing the Gentiles. In the current edition it describes them as being "in that awful state of blindness..." In the original BOM, it is described thus: "that state of awful woundedness..." which has a raw quality to it which I like.

What has this to do with Scotland, you might ask? Well...Heather and I have been listening to the Corries lately (surprising, I know!) and I rather think that, if one is willing, or feeling sensitive at the time, those old songs can have quite the effect on one. Of course, I've discussed this already a thousand times in my blog (well, nearly a thousand times!) yet it still gets to me, and that's why I still write about it I guess. Not only the history it evokes and stirs, but my own personal history, being raised with this music. This may sound silly, but some of the songs, if I let them, would make me cry. Right there in the middle of the living room, or listening from the kitchen as I make lunch. And that's where the Book of Mormon phrase comes in. Without sounding sacrilegious or anything, I might say that sad music can produce a "state of awful woundedness".

I don't want to sound maudlin, so I'll stop now. But consider the words of the song "The Blackbird" and imagine the lonely pipe that accompanies it:

But what if the Fowler my blackbird has taken?
Then sadness and sorrow will be all my tune
Ah, but if he is safe then I'll no be forsaken
and hope yet to see him in May or in June.

For him through the fire through mud and through mire
I'll go for I love him to such a degree
Who is constant and kind and noble of mind
Good luck to my blackbird wherever he be.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Rain has showered far her drip * 16 weeks

I believe I have counted right, and there are sixteen weeks left until September 1st.

I thought, also, that spring was the perfect time to bring up another famous Scot: Donovan Leitch (born in Glasgow, no less!). His album A GIFT FROM A FLOWER TO A GARDEN, especially the second half of it, often has the flavor of old Scottish ballads. These are, in my opinion, his greatest songs. In his song, "Lullaby of Spring" (which we listen to and sing every May Day) one of the lines is:
"from the stony village kirk
Easter bells of old ring.
So begins another spring..."

Monday, May 3, 2010

Latha Buidhe Bealtainn! 19 Weeks

Yesterday was May 1st. May Day. Heather, Katie and I celebrated it at our friends the Mason's beautiful house. On their property they have a May Pole, which every May 1st friends and family gather around to dance in the summer. The day before (for an ancestry activity at the church) I had made some oat cakes (from a recipe from Grandma Jean, which she got from the Glen Ghorm Lodge in Nova Scotia. Gorm means blue in Gaelic). We brought them along to be part of the festivities.

It was a beautiful day, over 50 degrees when we began at 7:30 in the morning. We wove the ribbons around the pole, and ate a delicious breakfast brought by the various guests.

Today I made soup from a recipe I found in a Scottish cookbook. Nettle Soup. Stinging Nettles! We have quite a lot of stinging nettles in our property, so I made use of them. Cooking up an onion and three potatoes in a stick of butter, I then added two cans of chicken stock and after that had cooked for about fifteen minutes or so, I added the nettles(about a cups worth, though I think I could have added more). I then blended the soup and we ate it with bread. It was delicious, if I do say so myself! And I'm thrilled to discover that nettles are edible, and that we have a good use for all our stinging nettles!

Note: I am including picture of what used to be a main road, that went right past the Mason's house. I just learned from Heather that when Joseph Smith was in this area, this is the road he would have used, therefore, he went right past the Mason's house, as the original portion of it was built in the 1790's. Also the road used by the members of the Colesville Branch when they went to Ohio. (I don't know if these pictures will load up first or last). There is also a picture of a miniature May Pole, which Johannes Mason made.