Reflections of Ponoka: We should enjoy the glorious month of September

Not just because it’s when my birthday falls but dare I may suggest September will always be one of our busiest but most favourite months

This classic prairie scene was captured in 1914 in central Alberta and will never be seen again. While hundreds of stooks have been piled in the field during the harvest

Not just because it’s when my birthday falls but dare I may suggest September will always be one of our busiest but most favourite months of the year.

So what is so great about September? It is that exciting month when our children (and their parents) are thrilled about going back to school, the glorious time of the harvest, the colorful splendour of the northern lights and the changing of the leaves, and the arrival of some hot new shows on television.

Despite the fact many avid duffers will be hoping for a few more tee times long into the fall, lots of families have registered and are really looking forward to taking part in all those neat fall/winter activities on ice, in gyms or while shooooshing through the snow. What is most vital and will always turn this most magnificent month of September into a perfect and joyful occasion is a bountiful harvest for our dedicated farmers. This in turn will determine the year-round economy as well as the future plans and successes of all facets of our community, our province and our nation. Even though digging spuds, shelling peas and picking and pulling all the rest of our great gardens is tough work, there is nothing better than all that fresh produce, as well the jars of the preserves and frozen goodies that will bless our tables  throughout the cold winter and beyond.

Whatever the case, this simple but magic September formula has been around for decades and generations, and here is an old-time tribute to what we hope will always be a month of fun and glory. This was written in the late 1940s by Ponoka district farmer and poet Mr. D.A. Morrow in a delightful booklet entitled Homespun Rhymes that salutes the ongoing efforts and dedication of the farming community.

September Alberta

September in Alberta, our harvest work is done;

The grain stooks standin’ row on row are dryin’ in the sun.

A lone crow caws, an’ flyin’ south, I hear the wild goose call.

Through the haze of Indian summer, that’s Alberta in the fall!

The golden glow is noddin’ her gaudy yellow crown,

An’ the old Virginny creeper’s jest a mass of red an’ brown,

With a little green a-showin’, an’ a bit of purple too,

While the sun is allus shinin’ from a sky of deepest blue.

The young turkeys are a-callin’, it seems they’re alas lost,

While the air at early evenin’ carries just a hint of frost.

An’ deeper shadows seem to lie, along every lake and steam,

Where the seedpods of the wild rose, like red haws richly gleam.

The sun is risin’ farther south, an’ shadows longer grow,

While almost every evenin’s sky the rainbow colors show.

Never was a canvass painted in colors half so grand,

As are the slopes ‘long Battle River painted by the Master’s hand.

The garden’s fairly burstin’ with good things fer to eat,

Here’s a wealth of stored up goodness that’s really hard to beat.

An’ I know that I’m most thankful to the Giver of it all,

And glad that I’m a’livin in Alberta in the fall.

Has it really changed that much over the years?

Canada, and its provinces since their birth, have faced countless hardships and challenges but would steadily make progress unmatched in world history. Along the way science has tapped the secrets of nature to enable men and women to live longer and more comfortably, while air travel has reduced the globe to a mere fraction of its former size. Television and technology have brought the sights and sounds of far-away places into our family living rooms, and outer space is no longer such a mystery.

During all these long years, our proud Canadian farmers and ranchers have felt the winds of change and did, in fact with their hard work, knowledge, and willingness to try new ways, help to generate so many new innovations that have made our future successful and exciting. They would swap their horses and mules for tractors, trucks, and autos and their coal oil lamps for mazda bulbs, while bravely putting discoveries in their laboratories and factories to work in their fields and feed lots. Working co-operatively together our farmers and ranchers have faced all problems and economic challenges to create successes and build better districts and communities in which to raise their families.

Enjoy this fall of 2012 to the fullest but also look forward to an invigorating winter and whatever the rest of the year may bring, while never being afraid to continue to create and dream just a little along the way.

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