Saturday, July 27, 2013

Under Blue Canadian Skies

Hidden in rural Ontario amongst miles and miles of cornfields, there is an old schoolhouse that holds a special spot in my heart. Tucked in on a stretch of dirt road, on the banks of a winding creek, it exists in a realm of the past. It's a simpler place where things move slower and life is easier.

In my youth, a Memorial Day trip up to the schoolhouse offered us the first glimpse of summer to come. We would run for ages through the corn stalks, stopping every so often to catch crawfish in the creek bed and hiding in the tall grass in an endless game of hide and seek. In our unbridled spirit, we weren't so much different from the kids who played in the fields of the schoolhouse dozens of years prior. The grown ups weren't so much different from the small-town Canadians living in rural Ontario those years ago, either. They sit out on the deck, drinking bottles of beer, watching out over their little ones - wondering at once where the time went and where it might lead.

At dusk we used to sit out and look up at the stars and exploding fireworks in the vast country sky. In the quiet solitude of the Canadian night, we looked up into the vastness and wondered to what extent the universe went on, while at the same time feeling safer than ever in the confines of that wood-stove schoolhouse. We live simply, the way life once was in the past. And we spend our time the way it was meant to be spent, embracing every moment of the day. And for a weekend, that's all that mattered in the world.

I remember wondering as a child if we'd ever grow up to be like the grown ups, drinking bottles of the beer on the back deck and watching the sun over Lake Huron in the distance. A couple of weekends ago, my childhood buddies and I drove up to the schoolhouse for our annual summer trip to the schoolhouse. As we sat out on the deck in the falling Friday dusk, I thought about the passage of time. We were no longer the kids who spent their days in the fields and rows of corn fields up there. Rather, we were the ones drinking the beer on the deck - thinking about where the time went and where it might lead.

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