Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Gentlemen, Start Your Engines

I am off to a slow start today. My engine is barely started. It isn't the ALS that is doing this; it's my desire to see the sunrise from my chair. It's winter. The sun is slow to rise and quick to leave us. Here in Calgary it seems slower than most. The prairie to the east stretches out the sunrise, the light of the day slowly staining the eastern sky from black to eggshell blue to bright and clear.

There is a tinge of pink on the horizon making the thin clouds into strands of cotton candy, pretending to be a red sunrise. It is beautiful. I wanted to enjoy it this morning. My engine can wait. I can see the jets taking off and landing in the distance. The snow has fallen from the tree in front of my apartment and there is not a touch of wind. It is a gentle start to a new day.

Shifting gears completely, my daughter asked me yesterday if I would write a biography. Personally I think I have had a pretty exciting life; lots of travel and adventure, wonderful children and friends, and a family history so full of stories that I probably could write a book about it. The challenge of most books is where to start, but in a biography it's easy. You start at the beginning.

The fact that I was born is not particularly spectacular. After all it was 1955, the middle of the great postwar Baby Boom. All kinds of children were born, many of them in Victoria, BC just as I was. It was summer, July 21 and I was the second child of my family. My older brother, Adam, was also born in Victoria, having arrived about 16 months earlier. Imagine my poor Mom, deeply pregnant in the steaming heat of a coastal BC summer, with a full tilt toddler in tow. Worse yet she was to do this three more times after me, each time a boy and all of us full tilt.

My father was in the Canadian Navy in 1955. I like to tell folks that my first boat was a destroyer; I thought my Dad was in charge of everything. At least my Father was home for my birth; the Navy had seen fit to deploy him to Australia while my Mother delivered my older brother; she delivered her first child solo. 

It seems odd to me now to think of it but my Mom was only 23 when I was born and not yet 22 when Adam was born. That’s seems awfully young. I was 27 when my first child was born and that still seems young. Of course we never think of our parents (or grandparents for that matter) as young, especially not that young.

Victoria in those days was small, just as I was, not that I remember. I remember very little of that time of my life; in fact nothing at all. Perhaps that simply reflects how ordinary and common was the beginning of my life.

It was not to stay that way.

1 comment:

  1. Looks like you are starting on your biography.

    When you get closer to today, I still have your travelogue from your circumnavigation of the Island. (I sent it to my mother for Christmas that year!)