I lived in the time of before.

In a time before we were harassed by a myriad of laws designed to protect us from ourselves. In a little rural town along the Saskatchewan, we dwelled.

When we were young we fished, we hunted and hiked.

We worked.

We were never bored.

What did it mean?

We had trap lines and forts and trails that lead nowhere.

We swam in the great serpent that stretched from the Rockies to the giant lakes in the east

which flowed into a bay locked in

ice and isolation.

Solitude never frightened us.

We drove trucks and hot rods powered by V8’s that we’d built with money earned from summers lived laboring in the fields and evenings spent working wherever we could find it.

We drove fast. We lived fully.

I lived in the time of before.

When speech was corrected, not for content, but for grammar. When hate was a word with meaning, not meaningless. When thinking and speaking freely were encouraged, not corralled.

When skin was thicker.

And sticks and stones were the only things that could break our bones.

When boyhood differences were settled with words and fists, not with star chambers and courts.

But that was then. That was before. That was when I lived.


A touch and a kiss and a look were consent.

We thought of one another, lived in service, took care of one another and

felt passion bound in the silk ties of

loyalty and love.

We danced with one another. We learned to waltz not to twerk.

We lived for honour. For trust. It mattered more than we knew.

Boys fought over it. Others judged you by it. Women looked for it.

A man’s words were backed by his actions. We knew this. It was true. Our community was built on it. We had hope and confidence because of it.

Strength mattered. Not just the brute but fortitude.

Once, women looked for that too.

Resilience mattered.

Weakness of mind, thinness of skin, these things were not virtues. Helplessness was not a virtue. Sensitivity to words was not a virtue. Being a victim was not a virtue.

But that was then. In the time of before.

We grew our own food, hunted our own meat, did our own reno’s and fixed our own appliances and equipment.

In a world that was less disposable.

In the time of before.

When men took their medicine, opened doors, explored far away places, built monuments and businesses, and a civilization and….


But that was then.

So long ago. But not so.

Back in the time of before.





7 thoughts on “Before

  1. Pingback: Nothing New Under The Sun 2016

  2. What a sad day when we can acknowledge the “before” is now the after. I remember the before. I have no hope that we could ever return to that wholesome life. I fear for the life of my grandchildren and the world they are growing up in, I feel technology has taken away our connection to each other. There are other reasons for our loss of before….
    Thank You for reminding me how good I had it as a child growing up.


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