Yesterday, while I was hanging out my laundry (yes, I really do use a clothesline and clothespins, and that’s another blog post), I got to singing as usual. Elton John and Bernie Taupin wrote this song – my song of choice yesterday, triggered by the exquisite landscape that surrounds me, my ponies and the beautiful clean air. Here, Elton goes solo. It’s never ceased to make me cry, whether I sing, or listen – and one of the most amazing compositions I’ve ever heard. Please listen to the lyrics as well as the music, and note the mood changes within the composition.
When I was about 13, I asked Mom if I was adopted. I wasn’t, and in a way, that fact disappointed me, as well as leading me to many more questions, some were answered. When my life events queue allows me to bring it to the forefront, I’ll write it here.
As an adult, with little knowledge of my mother’s deceased parents, I asked about them, and listened intently, as I believed it would help me to know myself and why I think the way I do.
My grandfather was English, and came from a large, affluent family. They migrated to the USA, parents and nine offspring, their religion (protestant) and status. Everyone in his family played a musical instrument. My grandfather painted, wrote stories and his own entertaining dictionary.
My grandmother was Canadian, and part Indian. Her father moved the family to a farm in Maine, where she lived a hellish life, wrought with regular beatings. When his first wife died, he remarried, and my grandmother was instructed to call his second wife “the woman.” Everything was secret – and remains so, or is lost. Those that had detailed knowledge, have passed on.
When Pepe informed his proper English family of his choice for marriage, his family threatened to disown him if he went ahead. She was, after all, a half-breed, (of the Iroquois Nation) a poor, lower class woman and a Catholic. And, she had darker skin than the Englishman. All this, for the time, was unacceptable. He married her anyway, and he never saw any of his family again, except for his youngest brother Billy Varney, and his wife.
My Mother told me that visits were infrequent, but when the pair did visit, they brought silver dollars for all 13 kids. Meme took her religion seriously, it seems.
Pepe became a fireman, and smoked cigarettes, too. Of course, no one was aware of the dangers of breathing in the smoke from burning buildings, or from smoking cigarettes.
I’ve often wondered if the person I am is due to “nature” versus “nurture.” I’d like to think that my instinctive, intuitive and spiritual connection to the natural world and living things stems from the half-breed woman, and all those before her, part of one tribe in the Iroquois Nation, still alive, within me.