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Sharing the joy

Not long ago, my partner and I headed up to the Crowsnest Pass Golf Club and were gloriously bombarded by DG Productions’ dazzling presentation of Let it Be! A Rock Musical. Among other things, it was sort of a retrospective celebration of the 1960s through the songs of the Beatles. And I’m here to tell you, it was a fine experience.

For me, there was a potpourri of poignant memories of putting out an underground anti-Vietnam newspaper on a somewhat conservative campus in Utah while President Johnson was being lied to by his military generals. I pretty much managed to hold it together until they launched into the George Harrison song “Here Comes the Sun” from the 1969 Beatles album Abbey Road — and then I lost it. Man, that piece made me cry.

 

Little darlin’, it’s been a long cold 

 lonely winter

Little darlin’, it seems like years 

 since it’s been here

Here comes the sun

Here comes the sun, and I say

It’s all right

 

It was more than 50 years ago that my partner and I lived north of the Arctic Circle in the Inuit community of Taloyoak (then Spence Bay) on the Boothia Peninsula in Nunavut. Our daughter Jaida was born in the nursing station there with the support of nurse Judy Hill.

Most people know that the earth we live on tips on its axis like an old-time top as it turns throughout the year. In Southern Canada, that means the days get shorter — or rather, the hours of daylight get fewer — in the winter.

 

 

When you live way up there near the top of the globe, the daylight hours disappear altogether. The sun goes down one day on the north coast and that’s it. At Taloyoak that meant there was no sun for the next 44 days.

There would be a smidgen of dim light to the south on some days, but no sun to be seen, until that glorious day the sun tinted the horizon pink and the snow glowed with a purple hue.

In the old days, when the Inuit still lived in igloos, they were some happy to see the end of the dark season. If they had food to eat and blubber for their qulliqs (lamps), they knew they could go hunting in the light and make it through the winter to another spring. They would spurt water from their mouths towards the sun and toss it bits of seal meat; offerings so that the sun would come back the following year as well.

 

Little darlin’, the smiles return 

    to our faces

Little darlin’, it seems like years 

    since it’s been here

Here comes the sun

Here comes the sun, and I say

It’s all right

Little darlin’, I feel like the ice 

    is slowly melting

Sun, sun, sun, here it comes

Sun, sun, sun, here it comes

 

Oh my, I cried for happy in the Crowsnest Golf Club the other night and I thank producer Debbie Goldstein and the entire Let it Be! cast for spreading the joy. They made us sad about the Ukraine but glad to be alive and well. They had us remembering the good times and clapping our hands. They had us waving our arms and singing. They had us jumping up on the stage dancing. It felt so good. A beautiful sharing.

I can hardly wait for the next invitation.