Thursday, September 17, 2015

An Imperious Summons.....

It's always hard to close up our cabin in Northwestern Ontario, especially as we grow older. But as we have to boat in, we make a decision when the days grow short, and the birds begin to gather ready to migrate; that it is time to pull up boats and canoes, turn off the water, put the boat motors away in sheds and pack up for the winter.

I find it heart wrenching every single autumn, but remind myself that we are so so lucky that my grandparents in 1918 and parents (1948) chose to build cabins on this lake and we, as children, climbed the rocks and explored the forest every summer, as our children and grandchildren do now. Me, too, of course as you can tell from my many boreal forest photos!

I read this quote recently at a memorial service for an old timer who spent most of his life at our lake. It really touched me.

"Through the marshes and the forests
An imperious summons flies
And from all the dreaming northland
The wild birds flock and rise."
P. McArthur 

Watercolour Print by Ireart on Etsy


Anonymous said...

Another great blog! Le'ts hope winter isn't coming too soon.

Margaret Buffie said...

Thanks! It's hot here today. Makes me wish we hadn't closed down yet! Next year we will stay much longer.... :-)

Deniz Bevan said...

Love your photos!
I think Anne of Green Gables in one of the later books might have quoted this? It reminds me of the books, somehow...

Margaret Buffie said...

Thanks, Deniz! The Poem is "Birds of Passage" by Peter McArthur (March 10, 1866 – October 28, 1924) a Canadian Poet -- so maybe Montgomery did quote him - or she may have even known him! He has an interesting history. I find his poems to be quite simple and yet often humourous and charming - and very readable. Some might call it light fare, but sometimes that is a good thing, I find! This is my favourite poem of his and ... well here it is in full:

Peter McArthur Canadian Poet

WHEN the maples flame with crimson
And the nights are still with frost,
Ere the summer's luring beauty
Is in autumn glory lost,
Through the marshes and the forests
An imperious summons flies,
And from all the dreaming north-land
The wild birds flock and rise.

From streams no oar hath rippled
And lakes that waft no sail,
From reaches vast and lonely
That know no hunter's trail,
The clamor of their calling
And the whistling of their flight
Fill all the day with marvel,
And with mystery, the night.

As ebb along the ocean
The great obedient tides,
So wave on wave they journey
Where an ancient wisdom guides;
A-through the haze of autumn
They vanish down the wind,
With the summer world before them
And the crowding storms behind.