What kind of animal does that?

I wonder what I’d like to be should I come back to this world again?  I hadn’t thought about that question from my perspective before.  My Dad wanted to be a bird, my Auntie Helen wanted to be a race horse.  What would I wish to be?

Some people describe me as being very bold and open with people.  Perhaps that’s the truth.  I’ve never shied away from controversy.  I enjoy provoking conversations.  I guess I like to push people to help them understand themselves as much as I like learning about them.  That boldness seemed to work as a teaching tool in the classrooms of the Barrie Learning Centre.  Oh, how I loved a good discussion.  I loved challenging the status quo to help students consider another point of view.  I loved watching their eyes light up when they had a “revelation” or what I’d like to call an “aha” moment in learning.  Oh, how their emotions would run wild!  Oh, such passion would ignite during conversation.  Oh, how they would LEARN so much more when emotions were involved.

What kind of an animal does that?

I love to cook.  I love the shopping for groceries, the cutting of the veggies, and the stirring of the broth as it simmers with savory aromas.  Then, I love to watch people eat as flavors explode in their mouths.  Yes, there are times, when the reaction is not satisfying and its back to the drawing board for me.  I even like that challenge:  get it better.  Lately, I have had the pleasure of working with my youngest boy, David, in the kitchen as he wanted to learn how to make wontons for wonton soup.  He is good with his hands and very patient to carefully seal the wraps and drop the wonton into the boiling water so that it does not rip open.  He likes the esthetics of his food.  It is easy to teach David as he is so coachable.  He listens, he tries, he does.  Bravo.

What kind of an animal does that?

I love to reflect on experiences.  My social worker commended me for that.  There are no experiences that haven’t also been good teachers.  I have learned from my past.  Without a past – there can be no real future.  I think.  Reflecting can take one outside of one’s self to realize good fortune from back luck.  There is an opportunity to put a positive spin on events that may not have been so pleasant.  Reflecting allows one to evaluate a circumstance with an emotional judgement – and a positive attitude allows one to appreciate all events for their “worth”.

“So many people don’t bother to reflect, Stacey, and hence do not learn. ”  I was surprised – at first.  Then, thinking of times in the classroom when I encountered students who hated writing reflections, remembered this to be very true. “I don’t know what to write, Miss”, they would begin.  I didn’t understand how they could not… but reflection is a learned skill.  It requires a person to draw connections to their past, to clarify, and to structure their thinking.  It requires patience and effort.  It requires solitude and practise.  Many students did not have the luxury of taking time to reflect.  Their lives were simply too over-whelming between going to school, raising children, and working – all the while dealing with an addiction or a mental health issue.  Reflection is a luxury.  It allows you to flow down the river of memory and soul to immerse and cleanse the spiritual palate of events gone by – to evaluate good and bad, right from wrong, and then to decide what actions ought to be taken in the future.

What kind of animal does that?

I love to help people.  I think I get that from my Mom.  I see that in my own children.  That apple did not fall far from the tree.  Thank goodness Kevin is the same way.  We are generous with ourselves, this family is.  We give our time, our thoughts, and our money.  There is no “half-way, Corrigan” for us.  (I think that was the expression my Mom used to use to explain a person who stops at mid-point of something although I couldn’t find it in Google.  Hmm.  I like it anyhow.) Need a place to stay?  Stay here!  Too busy to make dinner?  I’ll make you dinner!  Need someone to listen?  We are here for you!  We, my family and I, love to help people.  It is in our genes.

What kind of an animal does that?

I love to sing.  Well, I used to love to sing.  I haven’t done that for a very long time.  When I was young, I used to sing commercials ad hoc.  My friend convinced me to join the choir while I was in high school which taught me that I would sing in my sleep.  From there, I did school musicals.  I loved performing.  I loved the music and I mostly loved the people I worked with for so many hours while we prepared a show.  From there, I played guitar and sang with friends.  I performed a couple of times with “The Old Spice Girls” as we sang Andrews Sisters material. But, time marched on, we had babies and families and our lives got busy.  I was fortunate, when I taught grade 8, to be able to teach my own music class.  I was so thrilled to hear these same students sing the songs I taught them 25 years ago during last year’s class reunion.  I don’t sing anymore.  I’m not sure why.

Maybe that’s why I should come back as a songbird?

Then I would sing all day.

Who would listen?

Would someone, like me, open their window each morning to hear my song?  Would someone, like me, be reminded of someone he/she loved and think I was bringing them a message of love?  Would someone, like me, be filled with hope and joy to hear me each morning?

Or would they sleep through my song?

I would sing a song that would tell a tale – a tale of my life and learning.  My song would be my legacy.  But, what legacy  would I sing?  Will I have left a mark?  Will people remember me for my love of people?  Will I be remembered for my cooking, for my “depth” of character, or my generosity of spirit?  Would my song be sung solo or be accompanied by the symphony of my fellow birds, crickets, and spring peepers?   Would the wind join in to contribute time and context?  Would the sun inject tones of auburn and rouge?  My song would not be sung alone – there is no solo in nature.

What song does that cardinal sing as it sits outside my bedroom window?  What tale does it tell?

What if I sang, and no one opened their window?

What kind of an animal does that?



About inmycorner

This blog began as an opportunity to tell my Dad's stories. I sat with him and the computer and together we told stories. It was a wonderful way to get to know Dad. He was 9. He and Mom had a wonderful life together and since she passed away a year and a half before him - Dad was ready to join her. I no longer tell his stories but have found stories of my own. The impetus to resume this blog was the discovery that I had stage 4 ovarian cancer. Since blogging had been so therapeutic for my dad and I to get through our grief, I felt maybe this would be a good outlet to process my situation. I also hoped it may serve as an outreach to anyone else who is facing this very ominous journey. So far, so good.
This entry was posted in appreciation, birds, childhood, family, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to What kind of animal does that?

  1. Gwen K says:

    I fancy coming back as a dog in my sister’s home (or yours) one of the loving homes. Think of it – someone to feed and water you as well as clean up after you. All you need to do in return is love them back and be there to listen when they need to talk.

  2. Every song bird must sing. To not sing would mean they aren’t fulfilling their need. Whether someone listens or not, that’s a bonus. I imagine we have missed out on hearing some beautiful and fabulous songs but I love that those songs were sung no matter what.

    And anyway…..I think you are singing now. And your song is beautiful.

  3. I would certainly open my window for your song

  4. Gallivanta says:

    I am with Maureen!

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