July 31, 2015

I was going through the little pouch full of smaller goodies I am hoping to give away and pulled out a small enamel brooch in the shape of a maple leaf that had belonged to my mother. She had bought it (or my father had bought it for her perhaps) when we lived in Quebec, when I was a teenager. I remember enameled jewelry being quite popular there. It’s beautiful but in the over 20 years that I have owned it, I haven’t worn it once. Though I feel great affection for Canada, as we lived there for four formative years, and made wonderful, life-long friendships there, I don’t feel Canadian enough to wear a maple leaf brooch, no matter how pretty it is. I decided it should belong to a Canadian who can wear it proudly.

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As I sat in the car wondering who I could give it to, I realized my husband David was having his physical therapy with Jill today. And Jill is Canadian. I’ve given her something before (see January 28), but that was 6 months ago, a shawl for the winter cold. It’s summer now so maybe it would be ok to give it to her. I entered the house with the brooch in my hand and then laid it on my desk as I said hello to David and Jill, who was making him some stretches on the cushioned portable bench she brings with her. I didn’t know how to approach the subject of the brooch so I waited for a bit as she and David chatted about world news, the soon to be retiring Jon Stewart, and then…..Rush. Yes, the rock band Rush. She and her husband are going to hear them perform at the Forum, a popular music venue in Los Angeles. “They’re Canadian, aren’t they?” I asked Jill, remembering how big they had been when I was living there in the early 1980s. I’d never been a fan, but I knew lots of people who just loved their classic rock music. “Yes. And one of the players is from my home town,” she explained. She hadn’t been that crazy about them either, apparently, but was looking forward to hearing them all these years on. And they were Canadian. She could put on her Canadian gear to cheer them on. I couldn’t stop myself now. “Would you like to wear this at the concert too?” I asked handing her the little brooch. She said loved its autumnal tones and would wear it much more than just tomorrow. She asked me to pin it on her and it looked perfect against her pale green camisole – summer transitioning to fall. Mum would have liked Jill – a warm, healing, giving person like herself – and she would have liked the brooch to be worn and enjoyed.

As she packed up her table, I wished Jill a good concert and weekend and was glad I hadn’t been too timid to give her the brooch. Later this evening, I looked up the lyrics of the Rush song that I remembered – Tom Sawyer – their biggest hit. They’re much deeper than I remembered and rather lovely….

What you say about his company

Is what you say about society

Catch the mist, catch the myth

Catch the mystery, catch the drift

The world is, the world is

Love and life are deep

Maybe as his skies are wide.

Canada indeed has a lot to be proud of…

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