Early Morning Rain
Out on runway number nine, big 707’s set to go.
And I’m stuck here in the grass with a pain that ever grows.
Hearing Gordon Lightfoot’s “Early Morning Rain” today reminded me of another time, of a different life, when I listened to this same, sad song in this very same room.
Listen to me read this post:
Back in the day I owned a water-resistant, portable stereo, a ghetto blaster which flipped over a cassette tape indefinitely until the listener pressed the “off” button. I loved that bright yellow stereo, a gift from my folks for my high school graduation.
I lived here at Grandma’s house for four weeks while I completed my first teaching practicum in a split Grade 1-2-3 class in a nearby village. Ugh. Those were difficult days. I was way out of my depth, unconfident, and immature. The only comfort to me in those days was being here, in this house that I would buy 16 years later.
At night, I’d listen to my cassette tape of the album Gord’s Gold. Of course, I’d fall asleep before pressing the red “off” button. Grandma held little appreciation for Gord, his melancholy, and for Canadian railway trivia, even under the best circumstances, and definitely not when she was trying to sleep across the hallway, hearing the strains from the endlessly turning tape.
I remember Grandma softly opening my bedroom door and in the dim glow cast by the hallway light, looking for and then finding, that “off” button.
… with an aching in my heart and my pockets full of sand.
Now, as I write at my desk in the spot where Grandma’s guest bed used to be, I listen to “Early Morning Rain” and try to remember whatever happened to that stereo. Whatever happened to that confused kid, so lost and unsure?
Somehow, with a little negotiation and a lot of luck, I found my way back here, to this house where I found shelter from the storms of my life and where I listened to Gord’s Gold until I fell asleep. These days, as a different person in a happier life, I listen to “Early Morning Rain” while I write in my office, which used to be Grandma’s guest room.
Time passes and in its wake, my ghetto blaster has disappeared along with many of the main characters from my past life, including the person I was. I recall being that person, but Grandma could locate that “off” button in the half-light much easier than I could find that girl again. That’s okay. I miss the dear people who have passed on, but mostly I’m grateful that part of my life is over and that I got to take its music with me.
You can’t jump a jet plane like you can a freight train.
So, I’d best be on my way in the early morning rain.