Sunday, February 24, 2013

All nature sings, the music is all around us...

The music is all around us,
all you have to do...
is listen.
- August Rush

Joan, pauses...and listens. 
All nature sings.
I have a deep and abiding love for music, particularly music that moves the spirit, that can be “heard” by the heart and felt by the soul.

As a little boy, my father would tell me stories at bed time. He had a passion for history and could make some of the most unlikely events come alive with vibrant images and his unique way with words.  One such story was about the composer George Handel and the special music he wrote for King George 1. An orchestra of over 50 musicians played for hours - sitting on a barge, amidst a royal flotilla of boats, floating with the tide down the Thames River - long after midnight. In my mind’s eye, I could imagine such a regal concert. After bidding me good night, my dad would retire to the living room with my mum and listen to his beloved music. I would often fall asleep to Handel’s "Water Music". To this day, that 300 year old composition causes my eyes to mist as I remember those special times.

This morning, we heard another piece of music that was extraordinarily beautiful. It was at the 9:15 am contemporary Eucharist at Christ Church Anglican Cathedral in Victoria, where we have found an occasional parish home in this not-so-full-time "post-full-time life". Out of the silence of the magnificent sanctuary, the first notes of “Due Tramonti” (Two Sunsets) by Italian composer Ludovico Einaudi were played gently on the piano, soon to be accompanied by the rich and searching alto-tones of a viola. It was a simple composition that seemed to reflect the essence of life itself - fragile and vulnerable but with underlying and undeniable tones of strength and courage.

Since arriving home, I have downloaded and listened to this piece over and over again and felt its deep emotion, each time, as if for the first time. In the wonderful movie, August Rush, the main character, a ten-year old boy reminds us that music is everywhere…we just have to listen.

Whether it is in the deep woods of an Island home, or on the waters of the Salish Sea, or atop a wind-blown mountain in a desert landscape a 1000 miles away, nature sings. Hiking along a forest trail, or paddling along the sandstone shores of the Gulf Islands, or standing under the bright rays of a moon almost full, there is extraordinary "music" to be heard…and experienced deep inside. The music calms, heals, and inspires.

Uno tramonti, over Vancouver Island.
You just have to pause, silence your thoughts for a brief moment in time...and listen.



  1. Yes Duncan, it is so true. Here in the mountains, along the trails, if you quiet your mind (and sometimes it's a big "IF"), you can hear the "music". When that happens, it is so beautiful and so worth the effort. :-) Thank you. Gen.

  2. Thanks for that, Gen. Yes, sometimes it's a BIG "if" indeed. But it's so worth the music. Always good to hear from you. Duncan.

  3. Funny how music attaches itself to moments. Soundtracks to our lifes.

  4. What you say is true, Lee. And I think we have the opportunity to write the soundtracks ourselves. That, of course, is good news. We''ve been missing your postings, buddy. Hope the healing is coming along and you'll soon be anticipating being back in the kayak cockpit. Great to hear from you and warm wishes. Duncan.

  5. You must "listen" very well when you are out in nature and hear the music...that is probably why you can just sit down at the piano and make such beautiful music yourself...maybe you play what you have heard

  6. That's very kind, L. Or maybe it's because the keys are sometimes just where they need to be. :) D.