The first time I saw someone standing frozen on a corner Fort McMurray with her face turned up into the sun, I found it odd. She was blissfully staring into the sunlight as if waiting for the mother ship to take her home. It was September and still warm, but winter was creeping up.
Two years later, I am the one standing on the street corner, craning my neck to worship the sun god’s first rays after an unbearably long and dark winter.
It would be a struggle to say northern Canada has four distinct seasons; I would be more apt to describe the region as having two distinct moods: dark and light. The summer/winter dichotomy has a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde feeling to it.
In the winter, people are generally quiet and introverted. They keep to themselves and stay inside unless trying to get somewhere or participate in winter sports.
But in the summer, people suddenly wake up as if out of hibernation, and their energy is substantial.
Living up north, you can’t avoid becoming a sun worshipper. You find yourself seeking out patches of sun along sidewalks and in parks, avoiding shadows, and often walking out of your way or crossing the street just to get a few extra rays of sunlight. There is a humorous saying that you know you are from the north if you feel guilty when you are inside when it’s sunny outside.
In northern Alberta the sky really never gets completely dark. It is a sight to behold. In the summer we get about 21 hours of sunlight and the effect is dramatic. In the summer months, light suppresses the body’s melatonin release, which makes it harder to fall asleep. Your brain is tricked into thinking that it should be awake. Reminds me of being a little girl and saying, “But Mom, it’s not bedtime it’s still light out.” A person has an amazing amount of energy when he or she gets so much Vitamin D.
There was green alligators And long necked geese Some humpty back camels And some chimpanzees Some cats and rats and elephants but sure as you’re born
The loveliest of all was the unicorn
Now God seen some sinnin’
And it gave Him a pain And He says, Stand back! I’m gone to make it rain. He says, Hey, Brother Noah, I’ll tell you what to do, Build me a floating zoo.
And take some of them Green alligators and long necked geese Some humpty back camels and some chimpanzees Some cats and rats and elephants But sure as you’re born Don’t you forget my unicorns.
Old Noah was there to answer the call He finished up making the ark
Just as the rain started falling He marched in the animals two by two
And he called out as they went through, Hey, Lord, I’ve got your green alligators, And long necked geese Some humpty back camels and some chimpanzees Some Cats and rats and elephants But, Lord, so forlorn,
I just can’t see no unicorns.
Then Noah looked out through the driving rain Them unicorns were hiding, playing silly games Kicking and splashing while the rain was pouring Oh them silly unicorns
There was green alligators and long necked geese Some humpty back camels and some chimpanzees And Noah cried, Close the door cause the rain is pouring And we just can’t wait for them old unicorns.
The ark started moving, adrifting with the tides Them unicorns looked up from the rocks and they cried And the waters came down and sort of floated them away And that’s why you’ll never see a unicorn to this very day
You’ll see green alligators and long necked geese Some humpty back camels and some chimpanzees Some cats and rats and elephants But sure as you’re born
You’re never gonna see no unicorns.
By: The Irish Rovers
(I loved this song when I was a little girl. If you’ve never heard this song google it, it’s on YouTube but listen to the original by the Irish Rovers.)
When it comes right down to it, a great marriage is not built on the “fireworks.” Don’t get me wrong, fireworks are great and fun and wonderful, I rather enjoy them myself, but the glue that really holds a marriage together is commitment.
One of the best biblical examples of someone who committed herself to another person for no apparent benefit for her is Ruth. If you’ve never read the biblical account, I highly recommend it … she’s got her own book stuck right in there between Judges and 1 Samuel in the Old Testament.
“Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me.”
(I don’t know about you, but I always thought that that would make a great wedding vow.)
She offers to give of herself on the strength of her commitment. How radically would this change our marriages? I’ll tell you right now that it will not be easy, not in the least. But, oh boy, would it be worth it. This is the commitment-glue. The extra push that keeps you from rolling your eyes in disrespect when your husband makes a grumpy demand, and choosing to respect him – even when he doesn’t deserve it.
Wouldn’t that be a beautiful thing?