Monday Morning Musings

Posted on April 26, 2021 under Monday Morning Musings with 2 comments


Hey man. Which way to the beach?


What is heaven?

Now, there’s a heady question as you start off another week. According to that unimpeachable source, Wikipedia, “heaven or the heavens, is a common religious cosmological or transcendent supernatural place where beings, such as gods, angels, spirits, saints or venerated ancestors are said to originate, be enthroned, or reside.” Surely, they must be talking about our family’s two cottages at Bayfield. I can hardly wait to sit on a lawn chair, cradle a cold beer, and feel a warm breeze waft over my body as I watch the waves caress the shores of St. Georges Bay.

And why would I be contemplating heaven while living through the hell of a third quarantine? (It’s actually not bad at all.)


I am convinced that if there’s a heaven, then it must be a place where music is omnipresent.

As most of you know by now, I have a few (?) idiosyncrasies. How many people do you know are crazy enough to walk 40 kilometers just to get a cold beer? I do this quite regularly during the summer back home. When I am doing the dishes (by hand), I like to listen to classical music. I am still dumbfounded how one person can produce so many dirty dishes in a single day.

Last Saturday as I was running the water to fill up the sink, I went to the television and dialed up one of the many available classical music stations. They always let you know the name of the upcoming piece. When I saw that Mozart’s Ave Verum was next, I quickly turned off the taps and plunked myself down on the sofa. Sitting there with my yellow rubber gloves still affixed to my hands, I closed my eyes and inhaled the magnificence of Mozart.

For close to 40 years, I sang in a church choir and the Ave Verum was performed on very special occasions. The way our choir loft was configured, the altos and basses were on one side of the massive pipe organ while the sopranos and tenors were on the other. In other words, it was almost impossible to hear all four parts clearly. Maybe once or twice a year when the atmospheric conditions were pristine in the gargantuan cathedral, one could hear all parts. I’m not a particularly good singer but I have a good ear. On these rare occasions, I would be filled with awe and joy, and could see that our organist and choir director, James MacPherson was in his glory. We would share a knowing glance realizing that this was something special.

Mozart and art.

I happen to love the music of Mozart. My students are forced to endure me as an “art teacher” which is the greatest oxymoron of all time. My students have art in their blood. I’m a fraud and usually steal art ideas from fellow teachers. I always play music while they’re doing art. From time to time, I let them choose the music but most of the time, I play classical music. They are getting heavy doses of Beethoven, Bach, Handel and, yes, Mozart. Art classes can be chaotic affairs but not when soothing music is being played in the background.

I am working on my last big 1000- piece puzzle as I wrap up my third quarantine. Are you a puzzle maker? Putting the frame together is a cinch, most of the time. Invariably, despite your best efforts to gather up all the outside edge pieces, you are missing two or three of these pieces. Most frames have around 100 pieces so that leaves 900 to go hunting for the missing pieces. I was pretty proud of myself when I discovered that I was only missing one piece. Now, this is not exactly “needle in a haystack” sleuthing but it does take time to wade through a huge collection of different looking puzzle pieces. I meticulously started to dig through the pile and was convinced that that single piece was missing until I finally found it. It was the 899th piece!

There will never be another Merle. My buddy and everyone’s best friend, Merle Taylor died last week. She was easily the most remarkable person I have ever met. Here is the story I wrote about her many years ago. Just a few weeks ago, she messaged me on Facebook. There were no flies on Merle. There are not many of us lucky enough to have a 97-year-old Facebook friend. Knowing that my school year was winding down and that I would be back in Nova Scotia in early June, she invited me for biscuits and tea. Having tea with Merle was one of my greatest joys. To be in the presence of someone who lived life so fully was truly inspiring. The last time I saw her in person was last summer when I walked to her home in Lochaber. During these Covid times, she had set up a little table on her back deck where we could enjoy each other’s company… from a distance.

Simply put, I loved Merle. And I respected her.

I had hoped to do a musical tribute to Merle (Taylor, not Haggart!) last evening but sadly my internet signal wasn’t strong enough to allow me to do this. I did 56 Facebook “live” music shows and she listened to every single one of them.

So, Merle, you’ll just have to wait until June when I come home. In the meantime, fly high, my friend.

Heaven bound, for sure.

“There’ll be bluebirds over, the white cliffs of Dover,

Tomorrow just you wait and see,

There’ll be love and laughter, and peace ever after,

Tomorrow when the world is free.”

Farewell, my friend.

Enjoy this? Visit the rest of my website to enjoy more of my work or buy my books!
Highland Hearing Clinic

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.


2 Responses to Monday Morning Musings

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.