Posted in Canada remembers, writing

#Sundaystills The Road to silence

And with a quick snappy click, the room descended into complete and total silence.

The loss of electricity deleted the background hum of the computer, the fridge, and the boiler. This is not an unusual occurrence for life in the country, and as a rule, we don’t sweat it too much. We do own a generator now because at two days powerless one runs the risk of losing all the contents of the two freezers.

I had been sitting at the computer doing background reading for a meeting tomorrow. One about the Next of Kin Memorial Avenue inside Woodlawn Cemetery in Saskatoon. This led me to think about silence, of the immediate personal kind but also a larger permanent silence.

And although Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae did not use the word silence his poem speaks to the ultimate silence of those left behind in battlefield cemeteries.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Which lead me to think about the many battlefield cemeteries we visited in Belgium, Scotland and France. Devoid of conversations despite people being present. The bird chatter breaks the silence.

Special thanks to Terri at Second Wind Leisure for this thought-provoking prompt. And strangely enough I’m actually posting a Sundaystills on a Sunday on a family supper night. Connections rolling full speed today!



I have had a love of the written word for my entire life. It's no surprise that eventually I found a platform where I could write. It's random; sometimes funny, occasionally sad, maybe even at times from anger and I lean towards creative photography and hands on crafts. I have a few blogs that high light these interests.

16 thoughts on “#Sundaystills The Road to silence

  1. Isn’t it a moving poem Bernie. I have a book of the war poetry from the WWI war poets, which I revisit from time to time, because the poetry is so evocative, so emotive and as much as we have seen images and read history from those events, somehow poetry captures it even more vividly. We also visited a number of war cemeteries in Belgium and France and were often simply coming across them along the side of a road, a reminder that the area was once a battlefield and the cemetery had been created where the fallen were and all of the cemeteries and graves so perfectly and respectfully maintained. You have again, given me much pause for thought and sparked some memories. Thank you again!


    1. Again apologizes — somehow I ended up with your two comments in the spam file. I know I saw them come in and then couldn’t find them again.
      Yes it is a very moving poem that most Canadians can recite most of. Being at his battle station was one of my most moving moments in our First World War trip. The cemeteries, as you said, are so plentiful that it is hard to view them all. Incredibly tragic when you consider where we are 110 years later. Bernie


    1. I wanted the word balance in the title but every option seemed to be taken so I found a word that means balance. Sort of thinking outside the box.


  2. So interesting! When we went on our 10 day road trip last october (which I’m trying to create blog posts for) I found myself doing research then and when we got back on the areas we visited, along with the sites, etc.
    Loss of power definitely leaves you in silence. We don’t lose our power often, but when we do, probably because it’s not a common occurrence or lasts long, I don’t mind. Well, unless I’m in the middle of something, like last year I was cooking a turkey and had to run to my MIL’s house to finish it.


    1. We used to lose power regularly but way less in the last 5 years. Only had to use the generator that once. I love the silence but like you not if I’m in the middle of something!


  3. Hi Bernie – nice take on the prompt. I don’t enjoy that sudden silence of the power outages either. We have a generator at the ready, but not really ready for a true test of using it. At least in the winter months, the food can be stored outside in coolers so it won’t go bad. In the summer, though…yikes!
    On a complete side note…I found my way here to your blog through the comments on Terri’s site. I recommend that you look into how your gravatar is working or not. There must be some setting that isn’t quite right as when you commented on my comment, your comment showed up in my alerts, but I couldn’t click on your name to bring me to your blog, it only gave me an error message. I hope you’re able to figure it out so more bloggers can find their way to your blog! If it takes a lot of extra work beyond a quick link, people tend to not go the extra steps. Happy writing to you!


    1. Nice to hear from you, Shelley. As to the power outage, our big 2 1/2 day one was in May, so that’s why the generator. As to the side note thanks for the heads up. I have found the directions and I believe corrected it but I’m not 100% certain. Fingers crossed. Thanks for taking the extra step to find me! Bernie

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh Bernie, thank you for sharing this and John McCrae’s words. I had not heard them till there was a recitation from a class at the school where I was principal on ANZAC Day. I have since written it out, and illustrated it with a poppy, and my Dad has it framed. His Dad was in WW1 and he was in France. He survived but was wounded from the mustard gas.


    1. Nice to hear from you, Denyse. As a Canadian those words are repeated at almost every Remembrance Day ceremony I’ve been at and they spring to my mind easily. That sounds like a very special momento you made your dad. Is your grandfather’s story recorded somewhere? I would love to read it. Bernie

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s not recorded other than from bits and pieces of memories from my father, and some of the memorabilia we have. Given Dad was one of 4 kids (the eldest son and second child) not a lot was given to Dad..unsure why, but in 2008 we ventured to Canberra, Australia’s Capital City, and Dad got to look at some of his father’s war records from their system, and we were able to have copies made. Thanks for your interest! Our daughter is a teacher librarian and quite the family record keeper too and she has made movies of my father in his latter years. At 99 though, he is “over” doing that. Denyse


  5. Wow, a thought-provoking post today, Bernie. That is a lovely poem and no doubt the folks visiting the cemeteries pay the ultimate respect with their awe and silence. And yes, I do not like that stark click and we lose power, either!


    1. Thanks Terri. I found the direction for the prompt very easily. Although the poem doesn’t tall about silence specifically it lends itself to introspective thoughts. I did a blog post about visiting the site where he wrote it. It was incredibly moving. Bernie

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s