Canada in Tea; Cedar Canoes and Silver Birch

Today we decorated the Christmas tree  -late for the family, early for us after years of no tree. Miss Marschallin is fascinated by it, having resigned herself in bygone years to the glory of being Overlord of the Nativity Crib. (We all know there was a tortoiseshell cat of giant proportions at the crib.)  The Dawlish Dachshunds ran riot, the tree dropped needles, and the upshot is that it all looks very nice now. Though probably Miss Marschallin will continue to be Supreme Overlord of the Nativity Crib. She must, after all, keep the wooden tabby in its place. (There was definitely a tabby at the crib. There’s a myth that says so and everything.)

Later, we made what the package pronounces to be S’mores Chai, and we’ve ranted too often about the oddity that is chocolate in tea to subject anyone to that again. There is nothing new under the sun there. We do want to know though, what there is exactly in S’mores Chai that it should taste of biscuit. It’s an odd thing, feeling one is drinking biscuit. But the sweetness of it blends well with the chai. We can readily picture returning to this particular blend.

S’mores, of course, hearken back to the days of camping, and fires, pines all around and swatting mosquitos. No one else ever had to worry about them when we were sitting by the fire. They evoke cedar canoes and summers spent on the camp’s summer time – all quintessentially Canadian things that we never could translate to the British experience. (Midges come close but are a different variety of mundane evil.)

With that in mind, here’s a poem by L.M. Montgomery. She’s better known for her novels and her purple prose, but she wrote poems by the sheath too. We won’t defend all of them, but we do think she has a knack for capturing that peculiar Canadianness that is so incommunicable to outsiders.

For Little Things

L.M. Montgomery

Last night I looked across the hills
And through an arch of darkling pine
Low-swung against a limpid west
I saw a young moon shine.

And as I gazed there blew a wind,
Loosed where the sylvan shadows stir,
Bringing delight to soul and sense
The breath of dying fir.

This morn I saw a dancing host
Of poppies in a garden way,
And straight my heart was mirth-possessed
And I was glad as they.

I heard a song across the sea
As sweet and faint as echoes are,
And glimpsed a poignant happiness
No care of earth might mar.

Dear God, our life is beautiful
In every splendid gift it brings,
But most I thank Thee humbly for
The joy of little things.

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