Beautiful Dominion

Gentle reader may have guessed, that when I am at a loss to idly comment on the pressing issues of the day, I turn my attention to such as birds and dragonflies. Angels might be mentioned, or perhaps other spirits of the air — the music of The Tempest comes currently to mind on the grand mediaeval theme of Reconciliation — but they require powers of observation quite beyond mine own. Swallows have not been mentioned, though they should have: our Parkdale swallows very much returned from Brazil, and a new generation of them have been swirling with their (oppositely sexed) parents — enlivening both morning and evening dusk as I sip (respectively) coffee and tea.

The city hardly notices what wonders soar above, or play right under its noses. But from this advantaged position, a hundred feet up in my ivory tower, my Taj minaret aloft (floating above the tomb of my earthly hopes), such material realities come into view. These include each month the fingernail moon, and each day a newly painted version of the western sunset. God has favoured me, not only with all this, but with just enough poverty to see it.

Dominion Day is again here; the Parkdale firecrackers announced it last night. Drunks and the bipolar seemed also to be celebrating in the street below, in the wee hours. It is now one hundred and forty-eight years since the instrument of our political Confederation came into effect, which is mistaken by the mob for the origin of our more ancient country.

But as the few educated Canadians know, our country is instead more than four hundred years; the torch carried not by Sir John A. Macdonald, but by Samuel de Champlain from the Old World. He was himself less than thirty years of age when Acadia was first abuilding — this oldest of our “founding fathers,” whose accomplishments in various fields exceed those of all our progressive activists combined, so many times over. In two days we may celebrate the four hundred and seventh anniversary of his, and our first capital, at Quebec. And there she still rides serenely on her cliffs, with her advantaged view over the Saint Lawrence. Perhaps from a sufficient height, bar blindness, one may begin to see Time.

Whatever we may do on the other days, on anniversaries we should look strictly back. “We walk to Heaven backward,” as Blessed John Henry Newman reminds; and can look even for ourselves in memorials. This is just what contemporary Canadians, in the main, refuse to do — or the graduates of our government schools are incapable of doing. The ‘sixties cult of youth is still on us, enforced by sorry old (women and) men. They counsel the youth to look only forward, into vacuity. It is the counsel of annihilation.

But as once again I have nothing to say, that might not be interpreted as raining on a parade — and at the moment there are so many parades to rain on (that’s how you get rainbows, incidentally) — let me add a brief note on Redwing Blackbirds.

Yesterday I walked up Humber way, enjoying the overcast, misty and cool. In the course of less than a mile of this riverside paradise, this verdant arbor of nesting birds, I must have passed through eighteen successive Redwing defensive perimeters. (Perhaps I exaggerate; perhaps not.)

The screeee-am they let out just over your head is something memorable to hear. They save it to the moment they pass over from behind, close enough to fluffle your hair — in the hope, I should think, of inducing a heart attack. It is as good as the sudden announcement of an ambulance (which must trigger many deaths in this way). And better, for our ambulances are not yet equipped to defecate in passing.

One Redwing achieved his pinpoint Stuka hit. Another was trying to pluck my tailfeathers, till he established that I didn’t have any. A third and fourth were a family combination. They executed a magnificent cross-manoeuvre, in which the female screeee’d from above to distract my response, as the male flew directly across my face — planting his red and yellow wingmarks indelibly in my fevered rightwing imagination. How brilliantly combative!

And, O my fellow Catholics and Christians, how useful to study for the days ahead: when the sexual re-educators come for our own children.