By Darren Lum
It’s easy to forget what you have when you’re not looking … or listening.
This editorial may have a similar sentiment to last week, but there is never enough gratitude in this world, whether we’re valuing the people in our lives, or valuing why the Highlands is special.
Summer here isn’t the season we all anticipate because of only the weather. It goes beyond the convenience of being able to walk out your door, barefoot (shirtless if you want) and stand under a blazing sun to warm your face, and then feel the refreshing comfort of a cool breeze.
It’s because of the energy, which is derived by what tickles our senses from what we smell, feel, see, hear and taste that makes life here worth savouring summer.
The other seasons have their attributes, but the brevity of summer lends itself to a special quality. I love the smell of hamburgers grilling on a barbecue. I welcome the brush of the grass along my legs as I ride my bicycle through a field. There is something enthralling seeing the sun shine through the mist rise above the marsh as day breaks, followed by hearing the rustle of the forest canopy waving in approval of a watchful eye to the setting, which includes the crescendo of calls from variety of birds who soar and dart. When the sweat forms on your brow there is nothing quite like taking that first savoury taste of ice cream on a cone. All of these things make summer for me stand out.
Let’s focus on what we hear.
Summer in town (Haliburton and even Gooderham – particularly when Gooderham hosted its music festival) really comes alive to anyone willing to listen. Music is a powerful thing that hits at our core. It’s an integral aspect that provides a depth to summer that just doesn’t exist in the dead of winter. Yes, there are indoor performances and the natural sounds of life are there when the temperatures plummet, but it’s far more difficult to hear and to embrace (when you’re not inclined to dress for 15 minutes in preparation). There’s a quality to being able to walk out your door and down the street and hear the life, the spirit that comes from a human voice during a country concert or an operetta.
This past week while taking photos of the Highland Opera Studio singers who performed at the St. George Anglican Church in Haliburton it was clear by listening this day was a unique opportunity for residents in the Highlands to hear all the beauty and depth of music that is available. Between the performances of the singers, there was an entire set of music being staged by Haliburton’s Ryan VanLieshout, country star in the making at the bandshell across the road for the weekly Music at the Park series.
It was one of those days when you could be at your home and be oblivious about the opportunity to have your soul touched regardless of the genre of music you’re interested in.
There is life in the form of the arts, whether its live theatrical and musical performances at the Northern Lights Performing Arts Pavilion by virtue of the Highlands Summer Festival or the numerous live music options held throughout the county at public and private venues.
William Shakespeare said it best from the Twelfth Night, “If music be the food of love, play on.”
Eat up. There’s plenty to digest and savour.