I have many happy childhood memories of crying to Farley Mowat books. The books sometimes made me sad, but it was a sad that inspired me to be more, to do more.
There were ongoing skirmishes between our parents and my brother and me, over books. No, not getting us to read, but trying to restrict how many books we brought with us, everywhere.
It became a family joke that we couldn’t go to the grocery store without several books each.
You can imagine what going on a long trip was like.
These were the days before e-reading. What if we got tired of a book or finished a book? What if we were without a book? We were book piranhas.
I’m sure my Mom sometimes felt awkward trying to tell us to bring less books. And my Dad wasn’t as supportive about this as he could have been because he liked having my brother and me read to him on trips.
Lost in the Barrens was the first Farley Mowat book I read, I think I was 7 or 8, maybe.
I remember my heart racing and I nervously turned each page. This was a writer who put so much love of his country and took such care with his words, every book was riveting and authentic.
I can’t tell you a favourite since each book held it’s own treasures as each word created the magnificence of a sentence then grew into a majestic paragraph…page after page after page until I would stare at the final words, almost confused. How could it be over?
From Never Cry Wolf to Curse of the Viking Grave to Owls In the Family, The Desperate People, A Whale For The Killing, Rescue the Earth!, The Dog Who Wouldn’t Be, No Man’s River, The Boat Who Wouldn’t Float, People of The Deer, Sea of Slaughter… and so many more.
Mowat loved not just his Canada, but had a love affair with the planet. He understood decades before others how destroying our world makes no sense.
Some politicians will give false platitudes, yet keep destroying our world. What will their legacy be?
I know I’ll be re-reading some of his works though I hold them in my heart where I sit curled in a chair, wiping away a tear for the senseless devastation of this country I love so much and this world.
“We’re under some gross misconception that we’re a good species, going somewhere important, and that at the last minute we’ll correct our errors and God will smile on us. It’s delusion.”~Farley Mowat