Tooting my horn to the world

Playing music with the recorder and creating no Greenhouse Gases in the process.

I’ve always tried to keep my “footprint” as small as I can by using and consuming as little as I possibly can. I don’t fly anymore, I don’t use recreational toys that chow down on the gasoline, I try not to overwater my lawn and garden and I recycle as much as I can.

I confess, however, that we maintain two cars, and the air conditioner runs for most of the spring, summer and fall. And we have seriously too many computers, printers, televisions and sewing machines which are quite often in use.

I’m probably doing well compared to many, but I’d still give myself a D – or, make that a size 16 (Wilt “the Stilt” Chamberlain’s shoe size).

I tend to be ambivalent about the annual, international Earth Hour. It seems like lip service to the world’s out of control consumption of our natural resources. Moreover, it’s funny that I should make note of it this year when the numbers indicate that its popularity is waning.

I didn’t plan it. It was more a case of finding myself in a situation and thinking, “Oh, this is appropriate. “ But Saturday night (March 29) was spent with the Sage Sound Singers Choir.

Although the choir uses sound equipment and lighting, their gift of music is made by their heart-driven natural talents.

I was honoured to join their program on Saturday night with my recorder – an old wooden flute of sorts – that needs no amplifiers or fancy set up gear. All it needs is a steady breath of air.

My recorder partner, Carmen Ranta, and myself discovered a mutual interest in recorders a while back. All we need are two recorders, a few pages of music… and our reading glasses. Very simple, but it gives us great pleasure to make these plain instruments sing.

While we were finished playing long before 8:30, Earth Hour, arrived, the choir continued on. Like making handmade gifts instead of purchasing them at a store, the evening’s music was made the old-fashioned way, using only our breath.

It was a nice way to spend the evening after a warm-ish spring day that saw so many people outside enjoying the sunshine.

Wendy Coomber is editor of the Ashcroft-Cache Creek Journal