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“ As far as I could see, south, north along the ridge, there were the Canadians. And I experienced my first full sense of nationhood”. ~ ...

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Why I Play the Flute

       I am far from a professional flute player though it is something I truly enjoy.  What is nice about the Native American Flute is that it does not require you to be a professional.  What is necessary to play this instrument is just to be able to sit, be with it, and let the music flow from your heart.  With this said I do recognize it is not a common thing to find someone who plays a Native American Flute nor would I think it is common to find a former Soldier playing a ‘flute’.  I do not come from a First Nation heritage though I have come to respect the flute for what it is and  respect the cultural significance it has for First Nations people. I picked up this instrument when I was going to school in British Columbia 7 years ago.  Two of the ladies in my class played the  flute and I was immediately drawn to its calming and hunting sound.  I was gifted a flute and it quickly became my primary outlet to deal with the stress of school, the military, and life at that time.  I would often find myself taking brakes from my studies to go to the school’s gardens to play by the pond.  It was hear that I learned to play and more importantly express myself through the instrument.  Ever since I continue to take my flute out and play it as a way to de-stress and reconnect. 

Royal Roads gardens where I
first played the flute
The song ‘Amazing Grace’ is a song I learned right away, as I have always loved the meaning and depth to this song.  It is a very special song to me as I have played for several of my loved ones who have passed.  Playing the flute at Vimy to honor the soldiers who sacrificed so much throughout the World Wars, is something that has called to me ever since picking the flute up 7 years ago.  My plan so far is to take the Vimy flute that Stephen is making and finding a place on the Vimy Memorial at some point on April 9th, 2017.  I will play ‘Amazing Grace’ through the wood of the Vimy Oak.  I hope that by sharing my journey, you and others will learn a little about how the battle of Vimy ridge forged our Canadian identity and to remind us all that it came at an incredibly high cost.  May we never forget.