Laura Erickson's For the Birds

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Michael Conway Baker

I've been going through a rough patch ever since my sister's health deteriorated last winter, and after her death August 25, I've been as sad as I've ever been in my life. Autumn walks are inherently sad, too, though somehow healing. When a female and her adolescent young Black-throated Green Warbler come down and check out me and Photon as we walk along, as they did this afternoon, it's as soothing and lovely a feeling as there can be. But it's so quiet out there! No more frogs calling, no cardinals, no robins. Wednesday afternoon, a Scarlet Tanager broke into full song for a few minutes, making my heart swell even as I knew it was his farewell appearance.

It's times like this that I pull out my Michael Conway Baker albums, especially his sublime The Greater Vancouver Music album. My daughter finds it too sentimental for her tastes, but she thinks that of Tchaikovsky and Dvorak, too. I've been listening to it tonight, and it's been balm to my soul.