Today in my country, it is Thanksgiving Sunday, during a long holiday weekend observed without question in the same way for many generations. In recent years, and particularly this year, it seems that is changing. As a nation, Canada has been forced to reckon with a story of colonialism and the devastating consequences of a greed-fueled movement that began in the fifteenth century and led to genocide. The stories are finally being heard.
When my family emigrated from England, they came here seeking opportunity. I doubt they had any inkling of their new home’s history of abuse against those who had been stewards of the land for thousands of years. The First Peoples warmly received European explorers and settlers. In my experience, Indigenous people remain a welcoming, gracious and hospitable people despite all they have suffered and continue to endure in the largely unaltered systems that have perpetuated poverty, disease, and the lack of both basic human rights and opportunities to thrive.
Today my sweety and I are hosting our first small, indoor family gathering in many months and will celebrate birthdays and a general feel of thanksgiving for all that a life of good fortune and privilege has blessed us with. Gratitude will sit next to acknowledgement and respect as we feast together.
As I write this, I’m watching the rain trickle down the window as the wind whips the few, wet leaves remaining on branches while autumn takes hold on a dark and dreary day, after the golden light and heat in “bonus weeks” of late summer. Anticipation of celebration and reflection on stories of the past mingle, and I found the second movement of “Autumn” from Antonio Vivaldi’s (1678-1741) Violin Concerto No. 2, The Four Seasons to be a good piece for this contemplative mood. Though short (this version lasts only two minutes and forty-eight seconds), the music captures the surroundings and feelings of the day. In my opinion, it is a beautiful composition, which I favour far more than the opening and closing movements of “Autumn.”
Just over a year ago, I featured “Summer” from The Four Seasons. The audio for today’s post comes from the same 1984 recording of German violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter performing with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, directed by Austrian conductor Herbert von Karajan (1908-1989).
Now you know a little about why this is My Song of the Day for Today. Thanks for joining me here, and please enjoy, honour, remember, and give thanks.
Here’s the audio from Anne-Sophie Mutter’s official YouTube channel:
PS: My apologies to those who noticed the absence of a post this past Friday. It’s the first time since beginning the blog that I’ve missed making a scheduled entry here.