When I was a kid I lived in the north. And by north I mean way up there… not the key to the north like Muskoka. Way up there, where people were miners, hunters, canners and outdoorsmen.
It was a short transition in my young life but it was impacting. My uncle I remember as the ultimate man. He was huge and I used to think there was nothing he couldn’t do. I watched him eat an apple in two bites once, he could do armpit noises over his worn out jean jacket and he always had the coolest dogs. My dad was always hunting and providing. He struggled but tried hard.
My Grandpa used to take my brother and I on the snowmobile out to the lake while mom and Grandma skied in for a day of ice fishing. There was always a fire on the ice. That used to freak me out a bit until Grandpa showed me how think the ice was. Three or four feet thick sometimes.
Once I was watching the ravens. They were huge. I always saw them on garbage day and at the dump. Seeing them in the trees peaked my curiosity. “Grandpa, what are ravens doing here?”. He told me that they are survivors and if food is easily available they might take it, but they are powerful hunters and have been known to gang up on moose even when food was short…
So began the dream. Many of the same one. My window would be open while I slept and a Raven would come in the open window and fly me away. I would be terrified for a min, and then the freedom and weightlessness of flying freely through the air would force me to let go of everything but the moment as the wind whipped my hair and I listened to the Ravens calls.
It would always end with the raven putting me down in the huge nest at the very top of a massive pine tree… The “crow’s nest”. Then I would wake up.
I used to fear them. They were bigger than me. Then as an adult I realized they brought me back to those moments when I was a kid with my Grandpa. Just the sound can instantly transport me into memories… I can even smell the wood smoke sometimes.
I love these beautiful majestic birds. They mate for live, can learn to talk and are the protecters of the forest because they warn other animals when predators are in the area. I heard them a lot while I recorded Quiet Town. More memories.