Saturday, June 30, 2012

Running from Home to the Cottage Peace and Quiet

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Running from Home to the Cottage Peace and Quiet
This weekend in Canada is a celebration to say the least.  Everyone does their escape from what they normally do.

Our highways will be jammed full of people running from the city they live in and heading to some sort of vacation spot. I dare say that many will also head out on their annual holiday destinations talking time away from work.

Where do they all go?

In our area, as beautiful as it is, everyone – the locals – seems to leave for somewhere.  By Friday the streets were less full than they were doing the days before. 

The people on our block have headed out to a quiet place beside their favorite lake I am sure.  Our street was dead last night – so quiet you could hear a pin fall.

I was speaking to a friend of mine on Thursday evening. Immediately after we met he was on his way to his trailer which is situated beside a small lake.  It is really a camping spot out in the country away from the city.

The problem is that everyone from the city has run to similar lakes and the guy simply gets a whole bunch of new neighbors for the weekend that live closer to him than they do in the city.

You can hear when your neighbour burps or makes other sounds. Unless you go to bed at the same time you will not sleep well.

We choose to stay home. Our community becomes so quiet that we get what they all are looking for, peace and quiet.

Oh our stores will be full as the people from the larger city of Toronto flood into our area to find peace and quiet. They still need to buy groceries and stuff for their cottages.  Kind of funny again – we all get new neighbours from the much bigger city shopping and living closer to us – and we all escaped the bigger city to come here!

Does anyone remember the Nomads? They were people that packed up everything then moved to a new site.  Then unhappy there they then did the same thing again and again.

Gypsy or travellers are another group that do the same.  They move all the time.  Long ago (and even now in some places) people despised them… now we all do the same.  Really funny actually.

Staying put has its advantages.  Our area is beautiful, which is the reason that so many flood into this city and area for the special things that we have.

Today I am featuring some more photos that I shot a few nights ago at sunset. The Little Lake fountain is my main focus in each shot – with the sun setting behind it.  We were on our bicycles as we came upon the magic of our Lake.


~ Murray Lincoln ~

Peterborough's Little Lake fountain and our sunset on June 27, 2012

Note: Double slick on any photo to see it in a larger format... yes they are ready to use as Desk Top background - go ahead and do it

Friday, June 29, 2012

The Regina Railway Yard and the Last Day of School

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The Regina Railway Yard and the Last Day of School
As I drove home yesterday the two schools near where we live had just emptied.  Students were everywhere on the two sidewalks – both sides of the street.  There was happiness on everyone’s face for sure.  School was out now for the summer!  WOW!

At that moment I had another flash back! Whoa!

I was in Grade 5 again and just completed the year. I was exiting Haultain Public School in Regina, Saskatchewan.  I was 11 and leaving this school for the last time.

I had started school at the Innismore School and stayed there until the end of Grade 3. Then it was off to Haultain… which was just north of our home on Elliott Street about four blocks.  But there was a problem with that four block distance – there was the major Railway shunting yard for CPR and CNR trains.  To get to the school and take that short walk of four blocks meant you had to cut through and duck under gigantic railway cars – box cars and flatbed cars mixed with oil tankers.  You had to cross about 8 sets of tracks and their rail cars.

The official plan was for us to walk six blocks over to Winnipeg Street, go under the road subway that went under the Railway tracks and then we walked north and east to the school.  That was a total of 16 blocks to walk with your books and school stuff - one way… which we called the “Long Way”.

It just made more sense to duck under the railway cars and cross track after track of steel to get to the north side of the railway yard. That way we could avoid the 12 extra blocks of walking.

Whoa!  What a flash back!

Towards the end of the School year, maybe in April my sister and I were heading home. We had walked the short four blocks south on Elliott Street from the school, ducked under and around the snow fences of the rail yard, and headed over the tracks to our house. Our house was only a short walk from the railway tracks and through the tall grass.

As we came up to our house there was a police car sitting outside. Inside the house was a very tall policeman talking with my mom.

The policeman looked at us and said something like, “Your home early… which way did you come?”

Oh Oh I just knew we were in trouble somehow.  We had circumnavigated the rail yard and the train tracks to get home quicker.  The cop had been watching us and followed to us to our home a few days before… and now had come to capture us.

We knew that we were not supposed to be near that railway track and that rail yard!  But my sister and I knew that mom never watched us and all the rest of the kids had done this all the time!  So we did it too.

BUT someone had reported the kids crossing under the rail cars and standing beside the tracks as the huge locomotives had swished by us.

Dangerous wasn’t the right word for this action on our part. It was just plain stupid.

I first started crossing under the trains when I was 9 years old. I had played tag with my friends in and around the rail cars since I was about 7 years old. We lived beside the rail yard – what did you expect?  It was fun!!!!  We did this all summer long – when school was out!

As the policeman met with us he told us that in no uncertain terms were we ever to cross that rail yard again – or go near it!  We would have to walk around the long way – or we would have to quit Haultain School and head over to Thompson School which was further away yet!

There were no school buses in that day – so it meant a further walk to school.

For two months and a bit my sister and I walked the long way to and from school. We knew the police were watching.

At the end of Grade 5, that last day of school at Haultain Public School we were done walking that long way.  In the fall we had to start school at Thompson Public School… a much further walk – west and south – away from the train tracks.

On that last day of school I exited shouting with all the other kids… “No more School… No more books… no more of the Teacher’s dirty looks!!...”

And we shouted it over and over and over again… with gusto!

Yet at that same moment I realized that I would not be back again to that old school building – because we got caught!!!

To the present…
But then yesterday as I watched the kids walking down the street… they were close to home… and were safe as they walked. The ones that lived further away had climbed aboard a bus and were being carefully taken home.

I also realized that I had both my legs and have lived a full life.  The young guy that lived across the street from us on Elliott Street had lost one leg as he had crawled under that one freight car that horrible day. The locomotive was shunting the long trains and the far away banging had come… and with each bang the cars had started rolling.  His leg was just inches from the wheel when the car moved – and the leg was gone – snipped off neatly.

That had happened when I was in Grade 4.

Yesterday the kids at the two schools near us were just happy and heading home from school for their summer vacation… and I smiled.

I write this today so my grandkids will know… oh boy – what a flash back that was!

~ Murray Lincoln ~

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Amos Dolbear and the Crickets

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Amos Dolbear and the Crickets
Have you thought of it “Ma Bell”, as the telephone company was once called by some, should have been called “Mr. Bell” – because Alexander Graham Bell was not Alexandra.  But a good ad campaign sets off all kinds of thinking about a woman.

I bet there is something that you have never thought of in a completely different way… the Mighty Bell Telephone Company that is now the giant Bell communications company… could have been known as the “Dolbear Communications”.

It all could have been different if Mr. Dolbear could have filed his Patent for the telephone receiver 11 years before.  That’s right 11 years before Alexander Bell filed his patent for the receiver he designed, Amos Dolbear had invented a successful receiver that worked well. That was in 1865.

Later in a US Supreme Court Mr. Dolbear didn’t have the paper work that Bell did to prove who did what when… and Bell won.

Do you think Mr. Bell was an opportunist? Hmmm?  I kind have a different view of the character portrayed in the modern myths of Bell.

In Wikipedia this information was offered by contributors… quote…
“Dolbear was a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University, in Delaware, Ohio. While a student at Ohio Wesleyan, he had made a "talking telegraph" and invented a receiver containing two features of the modern telephone: a permanent magnet and a metallic diaphragm that he made of a tintype. He invented the first telephone receiver with a permanent magnet in 1865, 11 years before Alexander Graham Bell patented his model. Later, Dolbear couldn't prove his claim, so Bell kept the patent. Dolbear lost his case before the U. S. Supreme Court, (Dolbear et al. v. American Bell Telephone Company). The June 18, 1881 edition of Scientific American reported:
"had [Dolbear] been observant of patent office formalities, it is possible that the speaking telephone, now so widely credited to Mr. Bell would be garnered among his own laurels."
In 1876, Dolbear patented a magneto electric telephone. He patented a static telephone in 1879.
In 1882, Dolbear was able to communicate over a distance of a quarter of a mile without wires in the Earth. It is interesting to note that the Tufts professor was ahead of Hertz and Marconi. He received a U.S. patent for a wireless telegraph in March of that year. His device relied on conduction in the ground, a type of radio transmission. His set-up used phones grounded by metal rods poked into the earth. His transmission range was at least as much as a half a mile and he received a patent for this device, U.S. Patent 350,299, in 1886. But more importantly the Dolbear patent prevented the Marconi Company from operating in the United States. In the end Marconi had to purchase Dolbear's patent, primarily because it was:
1.   Similar to the 1896 model of Guglielmo Marconi.
2.   Tractable in specific applications (such as transmission in the earth).
In 1868 Dolbear (while a professor at Bethany College) invented the electrostatic telephone. He also invented the opeidoscope (an instrument for visualizing vibration of sound waves, using a mirror mounted on a membrane) and a system of incandescent lighting. He authored several books, articles, and pamphlets, and was recognized for his contributions to science at both the Paris Exposition in 1881 and the Crystal Palace Exposition in 1882.” End quote.

This Amos Dolbear was one smart cookie to put in a more common way.  But he wasn’t well known for all of that.

But the telephone and the transmissions and all things electronic isn’t what I knew Amos Dolbear for.  I know him because of the “Cricket”.

Mr. Dolbear listened closely to the sound of the Crickets that likely were working hard to be known each evening as he was thinking about his inventions and making his notes. He likely went to bed with that incessant chirping of the Crickets near his home.

Another quote from Wikipedia…
In 1897, Dolbear published an article "The Cricket as a Thermometer" that noted the correlation between the ambient temperature and the rate at which crickets chirp. The formula expressed in that article became known as Dolbear's Law. End quote.

If you read the article about Dolbear’s Law it feels like a Calculus Class for long ago.

It is actually quite simple.  You count the number of chirps a Cricket makes in 15 seconds then add 40 to that number. That will tell you the temperature where that Cricket is situated in degrees Fahrenheit.

For the temperature in degrees Celsius – you count the chirps in 8 seconds and add 5.

Can you imagine!?

Why not just turn on the Weather Channel and get the weather updates and the exact temperature right now?

It was 1987 and “The Cricket as a Thermometer” simply made sense.

As I read more the information about Amos Dolbear I thought, “How funny… why such an obsession with the weather?”

Well we are not much different – are we?

In this second heat wave of this summer – in this part of Canada… we are constantly looking at the fancy thermometer in our kitchen… to see if it is up a little more or going down.

We watch the weather channel wanting to know what is happening in other parts of Canada.  Why? What does it matter anyway?  Who cares?

Well they cared in 1897 and Mr. Amos Dolbear thought it important enough to develop a heavy formula….see
I was out the other day doing some errands. When I came home my 91 year old mother was watching her TV.  There on the TV was the weather channel with its endless, babbling announcers telling her the same thing over and over again.

When I left an hour earlier she was watching the same channel. I offered to change it but she insisted she liked to watch the weather reports.

Oh boy – two hours later she was still watching the same thing.

Today will be hot and getting hotter each hour. Then after that it will be getting even hotter. In two months it will be getting cooler each week until the snow falls.

In just under 6 months Christmas will be over and we will be looking at January’s and February’s super cold months.

Now… there is my forecast. Don’t you feel better?

Thanks Mr. Amos Dolbear.  But I have a problem now – we have no Crickets around our place.. Sheesh!

~ Murray Lincoln ~


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Simon Cowell and George’s Last Long High Note

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Simon Cowell and George’s Last Long High Note
George was a funny young fellow in the youth group.  At least he tried to be funny.  It was painful to watch at times.

The other kids were cool or like to hang out with cools kids. George wasn’t too cool.  And George didn’t connect with the other kids in the youth group. They tolerated George but he could get on your nerves easily.

His jokes were ill-timed and at times had nothing to do with what anyone else was talking about. Hardly anyone would laugh but many would groan or just role their eyeballs.

George was very different to say the least.  I felt sorry for him as he tried so hard to fit in.

George could sing but he never sang what the other teens wanted to sing.  The Youth Group we had enjoyed their guitars and piano… and “were with it” as far as the up to date music of their times is concerned.  George’s music wasn’t up to date.

You see George liked to sing Opera – stuff that was perhaps 100s of years old.  The other teens had no idea what he was talking about when he tried to show them his talent and tried to explain why it was fun for him to do what he did.

But at that time George didn’t have the range with his voice that the music he liked demanded.  That is a nice way to tell you that he couldn’t hit the notes that even untrained ears KNEW IT WAS ALL WRONG!  Yikes! In fact it was painful to listen to George back then.

George was skinny and he wore strange clothes – in comparison to the other teens around him. They came to the Youth Group in their Jeans and Sweats – he came with a Robin’s Egg Blue suit on… and three piece at that!... no tie just an open and sometimes frilly shirt below… just like the other Opera Stars did – on their days off.

Why tell you about George today?

Well George popped into my mind when I read that Simon Cowell has suggested that Canada should have its own “X-Factor” TV

Simon doesn’t know what I know – George is lurking around every corner for a chance to sing to any of us… and that could be painful.

I have no idea where George is today or what he is doing. He is not on Facebook yet. He is not on LinkedIn either – or other social media connecting programs on the Internet.  But George will be there when you least expect him.

A few years back I was riding on the Go Train into Toronto.  The train stopped and more people climbed aboard making the train about quarter full.  And there came George looking for a seat along with everyone else.

George broke into a big grin when he saw me and even a bigger grin when he saw the three empty seats with me.

In a loud voice he exclaimed his excitement upon seeing me and loudly said, “Pastor Lincoln, how are you! It has been awhile hasn’t it! My oh my! It is so good to see you.”

By this time the entire Go Train compartment knew that I was a minister and that George was an old friend of mine. As George continued, everyone on the car found out how George knew me and also how many people he remembered from that old Youth Group.  George’s voice was loud and he liked to speak in dramatics of all kinds including expressions and mannerism that kind of sounded weird.

Listening to George was like sitting in an interview session where he wanted me to hire him. My oh my, could he ever tell a story.

Yep he had on a light blue colored suit and he also had on a frilly shirt sticking up through the vest he was wearing.

YEP – and that moment I asked the absolute WRONG QUESTION! YEP! I was stupid and unthinking… and I regretted every syllable of my question as it slowly went out across the Go Train.

“So George are you still singing…?” Dang!  I should never have uttered that question!!!

George beamed from ear to ear and said loudly, “I am so glad that you asked.  I am just on my way to try out for a part in an Opera in Toronto.  Here let me sing something for you – it will be good practice for me!”

I knew immediately that I shouldn’t have said anything and should have never asked that stupid question!!!  I also knew immediately that I couldn’t escape – it was a fast moving train on the way to Toronto – with no stops due. Ahya!!!

George then stood up in the aisle as my mouth dropped open.  He did an action like he was flexing his muscles and pumping up his chest to achieve full access to the most air possible.  Then with a gusto that I have never seen he started to sing… loudly and longly and weirdly and I reacted with my inner voice with, “Holy Cow I wish I was dead now!”

After his first strains of the first line of the Italian Opera everyone on that Train was looking at him and me.  And they kept looking with their mouths open as well… right through the next five minutes of one very long solo part that George was practicing.

Good Lord.  The frozen smile on my face would not go away.  My mouth had shut 4 minutes ago and now I tried to maintain that, “Sheesh George.. I didn’t know you could sing!” look.

But as I well knew and so did everyone else on the train … George wouldn’t likely get the part.

His animated arm swinging and his playing to the audience was cool… if you were on stage… but on that Train it was too weird.

When he belted out that last, long, higher note that he couldn’t quite reach… no one clapped or cheered for an encore.  It was silent except for the sound of the Train whizzing along the tracks… and jaws on people slowly closing.

George then asked me in an excited voice (this guy was pumped), “So what do you think Pastor Lincoln?”

I was silent… and everyone else was listening for my response at that moment – at least it seemed like they were…

“Well George I don’t really know much about Opera or Italian Operas… I am kind of an Old Rock and Roll person.  I don’t know what to say…”

That was about all that could get out of my mouth. I had no idea what to say to poor George.

The Train stopped and we all left – following George down the platform.

I can tell you that George has guts… no glory but rather guts to do what he did on that train… and still remain positive and ready to take on the Toronto Opera scouts that day.  Guts definitely!!!

When Simon Cowell stated what he did – he has no idea that “Canada has George”.

Oh I know that Simon’s program is entitled the “X-Factor” in that he has no problem hitting the X on people.

But Simon needs to know that George will not stop until he hits that last high note – however he can and wherever he can.

Simon Cowell is no match for Canada’s George!

~ Murray Lincoln ~

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Silver Bean Café – A Place of Inspiration

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Silver Bean Café – A Place of Inspiration
I was not sure what sure what to title to give this posting. One that was strongly considered is “The Thing”… but ity makes no sense.  So because of what happened – happened at the Silver Bean Café – it is what it is.

The Twitter Account for the Silver Bean Café @silverbeancafe reads
“Eclectic at best... we're your source for an Americano with the ducks. We're open from May 1st until Thanksgiving weekend, rain or shine. Preferably shine.”
Peterborough, Ontario ·

Hmm… “Eclectic at best…”

Truly that describes this unique spot on the river in Peterborough. It can be found where Kings Street meets Water Street… with a short walk down to the water’s edge.

I arrived early before the regulars would settle in. By “regulars’ I mean people that seem to frequent this place early on Sunday Morning.

I came on my bicycle and found a table near the railing around the outdoor patio.

With my large cup of coffee, a good book and some of my sketch pads I settled down to savour the morning.  This has to be the “best church” I have ever attended in my 14 years in Peterborough. (By church definition meaning a place of worship) It was inspiring and peaceful and filled with glory.

Now that is the way a former minister sees this unique place… others may see and feel it differently.  But I think that I have found my unique place in Peterborough Sunday AM.  In fact it will likely become one of my best places to be… from May 1st to Thanksgiving weekend.

It was later in the morning that Zach arrived with his friends(see yesterday’s Blog posting).

After reading I began to draw. I have been working on my illustrations of Misty Hollow Fairies and the Misty Hollow Fairy Land.  This was a perfect place to do this… absolutely perfect.  The ideas came easily and the ink flowed perfectly.

But I was not the only one that had created art here in the last few days.

As I came up to the Silver Bean my eye caught the most amazing site of a “Thing” perched on the limestone rocks along the path way.  I stopped my bicycle and began shooting photos.

“Thing” is the best way to describe it. It was made of many “things” assembled together to create the one bigger “Thing”.

It kind of looked like a Canoe. But then it reminded me of a Space Craft of some sort… like maybe a Pod Racer from a Star War movie.

That alone gave me the idea that it just had to be some one young and vibrant who is the creator and artist the “Thing”.

But how did it arrive and why is it in that spot?

As I settled into drawing and sipping my coffee I looked up every once in a while to see if anyone was around that could tell me more.

The “Thing” was tethered to a nearby tree using a giant chain which was fastened to the tree by a huge Elk Antler.  It seemed to indicate that this “Thing” was powerful and needed to be guarded just in case it was to break free of its moorings.

The exoskeleton of the “Thing” was thin.. in fact there was only a sparse amount of it in place… it was Birch Bark wrapped slightly around the sapling poles that made the frame.

The power parts, steering mechanism and all the other necessary equipment to move this “Thing” at relatively high speeds… were tightly packed into its frame.

The closer I looked the more fascinated I was by the “Thing”.  At my table and over my Coffee I studied my shots on the camera.  Amazing.

As the “Thing” lay on its side, it appeared that the possibility was it had landed with a bounce or two.

It looked like it had possibly run a few rapids in some Galaxy far away.

I did walk down to ask the proprietor of the Boat Rental place below the Silver Bean, “Where did this come from and who made it? Who was the Artist?”

Mr. Proprietor was not impressed. “Somebody brought it here yesterday with the Canadian Canoe celebration.  It is a piece of Junk. I wish they would get it out of here.”

Not impressed with the art world I assumed and gave up any dialogue with Mr. Proprietor.

But to whoever created the “Thing” my hat goes off to you.  Your “Thing” impressed me in amazing ways.  I really think that you must be drinking Coffee at the Silver Bean too.

I did have the distinct feeling that I was being watched by someone as I looked the “Thing” over.

Later I sat beside the “Thing” and watched people looking at the “Thing”.

The reaction and Buzz that the “Thing” created ranged from hilarious to fascinating… mesmerized… and more.  See some of the Photos below…

Churches sometimes have special music on Sunday AM – this Silver Bean Café was by far A BETTER EPERIENCE than other places of worship last Sunday.  You hit the WOW Factor for me… and the “Thing” rated number on in my all-time great experiences Sunday AM.

I am not sure where to stop this posting because the feelings of inspiration are still vibrating inside of me. 

Thanks Silver Bean and thanks also to the creator of the “Thing”.

I would love to say its proper name – or the one that the artists used if I had it.

I will let the photos below tell the rest of the story.

~ Murray Lincoln ~

Reactions to the "Thing"...

Monday, June 25, 2012

Zach and his sister – with the fishing lure problem

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Zach and his sister – with the fishing lure problem
As I sat on the outdoor patio above the dock a small commotion broke out below on the dock. Zach had caught a fish and his sister, together with their cousins and friends, were terribly excited for him. They jumped up and down with glee at the boys amazing feat.

Zach, I am guessing, was about 9 or 10 years old. I had noticed him earlier when he walked down to the pier with his fishing tackle box and his fishing rod. Behind him came his younger brother and another boy – both likely around 7 years old.

Around Zach was a clutch of children that were all younger.

On his line was a straight hook with a worm that he was dangling in the water near the boat dock below the “Silver Bean” coffee shop.

Each time he pulled out a fish the young audience around Big Brother Zach danced with glee.  Zach was their hero and Zach was older and Zach knew how to catch a fish.  And most important Zach was not afraid to handle the fish and take it off the hook.

I went back to my drawing and coffee while sitting at the edge to the patio overlooking the dock below.

There was no noise or excitement from below.  Everything was now quiet.

As I looked down Zach was fastening his worm and hook to the fishing rod and then he laid it aside out of the way. It appeared that he was done for the time being.

Yet the odd thing was the kids had not gone away from Zach, they were now even closer to him and the young girl standing with her back to the group. She was also holding the edge of her dress up just a little… as if something dirty was on the edge of her dress.

The little girl, I am guessing again, was likely Zach’s younger sister who had tagged along. She was also one of the ones that had expressed her glee when her brother caught the fish.

I noticed her too because she had a pretty dress on. The dress was flared out a bit with a fancy crinoline under the dress.  Definitely not a dress to wear when someone is fishing! Who knows why she was wearing it – but it was special to her – expressing her inner beauty I am sure!

With the edge of her dress lifted you could see the crinoline and about two inches up the crinoline you could see one of Zach’s fishing lures hooked into it.

When she had come close to where Zach had caught the last fish and had crouched down the tackle box was behind her… and oops.. the crinoline had come into the lures and the hooks grabbed a hold.

This is when I took out my camera and took the few shots I could.

Zach reached into his pocket and took out his multipurpose knife… the kind that has a dozen tools on it that you would likely never use.  He pulled on the one tool – a pair of scissors – and gently cut at the material around the hook until it came free.

His sister stood very still as she trusted her brother for the operation.

Around him the other small noses came in close for a look at the delicate operation being done on the dock.

Zack just knew that a small piece of crinoline would not make a difference if it was gone.

The operation done Zach picked up his rod and then lowered the worm into the danger zone. His sister skipped away to play further up on the rocks in her beautiful dress.

These were moments of delight and mystery early morning on the dock. 

Someday these stories will be told at her wedding with her Big Brother grinning from ear to ear.  Someday their mom will find out about the mysterious hole in the crinoline.

I grinned and settled back to my drawing and coffee. What fun sitting on that patio surrounded by great people and the beauty of the morning.  What fun!

~ Murray Lincoln ~

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Fairies, Elves and the Magic comes alive in Lang Pioneer Village

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Fairies, Elves and the Magic comes alive in Lang Pioneer Village
You must come very early to the laneways of the Lang Pioneer Village to experience the Magic. It is there everywhere. If you are still, you can also see it when you look closely.

Last Friday morning I found it again.  I am not sure if it was the fairy from the deep woods behind the David Fife Cabin that led me to the leaf or maybe it was the elf that dances on the large leaves near the path that caused me to see it lying so still on the path. 

But there it was… sad but beautiful.

What did I see?

It was this leaf.  Torn from a huge Maple Tree the evening before when the very heavy rain and angry wind had rushed through the Village shortly after dinner.

The leaf was so still on the pebble stone path leading into the Fitzpatrick home.  As I looked down I saw the droplet of water that still lay on the back of the leaf. It would be only a few hours before the leaf would completely wither in the heat of the day.

The excited children that would arrive in the next hour likely would miss the beauty of this one still droplet of water held by the frail leaf.

I didn’t miss it. I am sure that is why the fairy directed my steps and the exact angle of my view as I walked along the path up to the house. It was the magic and the stillness that let me actually to look at something so beautiful.

As I stopped and looked at the leaf I was filled with a kind of sadness.  It seeped in slowly as I looked at the leaf.  For the last few months it had done its part on the Maple Tree outside of the Fitzpatrick House… growing steadily each day and providing the needed shade for all the travellers that would pass below it this summer. Now it lay still with that one last glorious droplet of water resting on it.

The leaf and the droplet existing together for that last few moments… The droplet too would be gone as the coming footsteps brushed the leaf aside… and it would fall quietly alone into the pebbled walkway.

I think that is why the fairy had moved me this way… so I would stop and see, think and feel, then capture the leaf and the droplets' last moment. 

Had the fairy been crying…?  Was that her tear that she left on the fallen leaf?

The answer to that is in the Magic of Lang Village early in the morning.

As I walked away from the leaf and droplet so still on the path I came to the ancient property marker beside the David Fife Cabin that was built so long ago in 1825.
 David Fife's Cabin
There on a leaf was another wonder.  A small, blue dragonfly that clung to the leaf came into my view. It had moved quickly into place and then stopped in the sunshine that spilled through the upper leaves.  As I took the photo it was so still.
 (Here is the blue dragonfly... just to the right of the large shadow in the leaf)

I assume that it was resting after the rage of last evening had pummelled the Village with the downpour or rain and wind.

That thought alone was amazing. This so very fragile creature had survived the violence of the night before.  Where did it hide and how could it be so ready to work this early in the morning?

The fairy held the secret answer near to her heart.  But she wanted me to see the beauty that hung there resting… that beautiful dragonfly… so still... – and I was not to know where she hid this creature in the storm.

I walked back to the Hastie Carpenter Shop with my pails of water slapping in the simple rhythm of my footsteps. The only sound was the soft grass under my feet… and the giggle of a fairy that was delighted with what I had seen.  No one else would see the leaf or the droplet… and few would see the dragonfly ever again.  She giggled again as I walked on.

The next sounds came in another half hour… happy children filling the laneways of the Lang Pioneer Village as it came to life for another day.  The children were coming from the many schools in our area for their day to travel back in time to 1825 and 1856.  They were to come into the lives of the Pioneers of so long ago.

I am a volunteer at Lang Pioneer Village. I am Grandpa Lincoln and I work in the Hastie Carpenter Shop for the kids. I weave the Magic of my words and the knowledge of the tools so the place comes alive.  From the moment the children pour through the doors to the second they leave… a spell is cast around them.  They become someone from the past.

On Friday just before lunch time the happy group left my shop and headed for their lunchtime as well.

The Shop went quiet suddenly… there was one sound of a sheep bleating across the way… but then perfect silence settled in. The Sunshine spilled through the window on to my work bench.  And there suddenly the shavings on the bench top moved… just a little… then another. Whoa…

Sure it could be the wind… though it seemed so still.  But I am sure that I heard a fairy giggle again… or was that the elf of the Hastie Carpenter Shop?

I will be back early on Monday morning for more of the Magic. I will enter the Carpenter Shop again… and I will look for the hidden tools that the elf keeps messing with… And I suspect that if I listen closely I will hear the fairy giggle again with her delight that I returned.

“Mr. Lincoln, your imagination is far too out of control!  Fairies… elves… giggling… fairy tear drops…? You sir are out of control!” pronounced the skeptic.

You can think what you like. But if you come early… listen closely and stand very still – the Magic is there in the Village… it is really there.  And that is why so many volunteers come back again and again!

~ Murray Lincoln ~