Monday, 11 August 2008

Folk Fest Philosophy I: Garden-measured time

Ahhh....it was another fantastic Edmonton Folk Music Festival! The weather was nearly perfect, the food delicious, and the people as kind and considerate as usual. We were treated to the generosity of both friends and strangers.

And the music, oh the music. Four days of inspiring, heart-wrenching, forward-thinking, joyous folk music from around the world. We saw artists from Denmark, Scotland, Mali, Australia and Wales to name a few. Not to mention a bunch of terrific performers from many parts of the USA and a whole bunch of local talent from my province of Alberta, and other Canadians from coast to coast.

The lady you see in the picture here, calls herself Little Miss Higgins, and she's a blues player from Alberta, currently making her home in Nokomis, Saskatchewan. Little Miss talked about her love of her little 400-person town, and how she liked to dig and weed in her garden while listening to the trains going by. She even marked time in terms of her gardening, saying by way of introduction to her town,

"We moved there five gardens ago."

Imagine if we all counted time this way. If we saw time in terms of natural cycles instead of the artificial ones we create, like "9 to 5" or "Spring Break" or whatever time we set that dang alarm clock for.

It's hard in our culture to try and live our lives based on natural time cycles. We even try and change natural time cycles for our own purposes, like when we switch back and forth between 'standard' time and 'daylight' time. Aptly enough, in Little Miss Higgins' province of Saskatchewan, they have eschewed this practice and stick to 'standard' time all year round.

Even better than 'standard time', is 'garden time', I think.

4 comments:

Apple Jack Creek said...

Makes me think of the Icelandic way of referring to sheep: they call the ewes a "one winter" or a "two winter", depending how many winter's she has been through. Since Icelandics are often bred in their first fall, they may lamb when they're just turning one year old themselves, and it simplifies things considerably - you refer to the timeframe that *matters*, not the timeframe that the calendar says. :)

Theresa said...

Exactly! We have lost touch with the time frames that matter! I have always thought that New Years was a silly holiday, since it seems so arbitrary. I always preferred September as my new year, since it meant starting school again.

::::wifemothermaniac:::: said...

Little Miss Higgins sounds lovely, I'll have to find some music of hers. A blogger I read once referred to her son's birthdays as celebrations of the number of his trips around the sun, I liked that :)

Theresa said...

I like that too - what a neat way of putting it. It definitely puts one's existence in a larger context :)