Storyphile | Your life. Your story. For the people you love.

More Mysterious Little Birds

My recent epiphany about the folk song “Alouette” brought to mind some other bird songs from my childhood—folk songs my Baba Fill taught me in Ukrainian. One was an action song about a chyzhyk—a siskin or a finch*. Again, in the bliss of ignorance, I didn’t know what a chyzhyk was until I looked it … Read more

Lullabies

A recent study at Harvard University’s Music Lab found that babies were soothed by lullabies even when they were sung in unfamiliar languages such as Scottish Gaelic or Hopi. That’s amazing! And it got me thinking about the lullabies I know. When my son was little, one of his favourites was “Oi khodyt’ son”—“Dream Passes … Read more

Home

Picture this. A mountain-ringed campsite beside the Athabasca River in Jasper National Park. A crackling fire. Sun slanting down through the trees. River rumbling over rapids. The occasional crow chorus. (The resident clan regularly sends scouts to check if we’ve forgotten to take the dog food in.) Soft music playing from one of the randomly … Read more

Why Not Bake a Cherry Pie?

I ate the most delicious cherries the other day. I only buy cherries if they’re from neighbouring British Columbia, and I make a point of stuffing myself when they’re in season. Eating cherries always makes me think of my Kamloops family. Kamloops, B.C., is where my dad’s oldest sister lived. Every summer, my Auntie Jessie … Read more

The Small Things

A few weeks ago, I finally got around to starting a project I had been thinking about for some time. I’m calling it my Book of Things. I’ve made a list of things—tangible things— that are dear to me. My special things include a huge mishmash of stuff—a collection of receipts stickpinned together, family crockery, … Read more