Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Rural Roams: Stratford


The Artist and I recently headed out on another road trip; this Rural Roams segment takes us to Stratford.
Not the birthplace of Shakespeare, but the other one, you know, where Shakespeare is the man of the hour.

The Stratford Festival, founded by a local journalist, Tom Patterson, to assist his ailing city, delivered its first lines of Shakespeare in 1953.
On my birthday no less, Alec Guiness delivered the lines of the first play produced by the festival:

"Now is the winter of our discontent / Made glorious summer by this son of York."

I'll likely go to bed for the next week wondering if there is hidden meaning that I was born on this day.

Nah, not really, but it is an interesting tidbit in the life of me.

I've been here more times than I can count on a cob of corn. My mom was born here, my grandparents met and fell in love here, the house, that my great-grandfather built for his sweetheart still stands here, which to this very day fills the coffers of my memory with images of quilts being made in the basement, gardens being tended and games of Chinese checkers being played on a dainty foot stool.

Stratford, a vibrant and sophisticated city,
that spreads far beyond its downtown.
 And a theatre known round the world for its reverence of the Bard and the talent who exemplify his work.


But for the Artist it was a first visit, which helped me to see this beautiful place through fresh eyes and a camera lens. 
  And I renewed my love for this place where your own Magic Swan is always waiting for you.
Where winding walking paths lead you on a journey through woods,
backyards bedecked with floral tributes and past an entire congregation of ducks.

Where there are as many bridges as there are benches.
Where the beauty of nature is an equal to the beauty of the written word.
Equal rivals, truth be told, from spring to fall.
And where every guide post leads you home.
To the home, that is, of the cause célèbre.
It was as breathtaking for a seasoned veteran like myself as it was for the Artist. And as I strolled along the river, a soft, tickling breeze swirling around my neck, I caught the notes of "Let me call you Sweetheart" being played on the riverboat cruising by and I was swept back in time, more than sixty years earlier. For when I looked up, there ahead of me walked a young couple, arms entwined around each others waists. A couple so in love, they took no notice of their granddaughter tiptoeing quietly behind them with goosebumps on her arms.

~~~~
Tell me friends have you been to Stratford?
Have you ever wanted to visit?

Oh, and what did we see?
Titus Andronicus
Sir William certainly knew how to write a tragedy.
Oy!


~Good night, good night! Parting is such sweet sorrow,
That I shall say good night till it be morrow~



 

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17 comments:

The Musical Gardener said...

Beautiful, and to think we actually went and bypassed Stratford on our trip from St. Jacobs to London last week - time constraints.

Next trip will maybe be a little more liesurely.

Buttons said...

Oh Andrea I absolutely love Stratford. I have not been in years. It is a wonderful little town with the friendliest people. The Plays are the reason I was there but I was soon in love with this little place. Lucky you "There is no place like home". The memories from you family make it your home. I feel the same way about the town of Cobourg. I bet the Artist loved it. B

Lynne said...

Lovely, really lovely. I have not been but you surely have enticed me.
Thank you for such a refreshing moment . . .

Anke said...

Never been there, but it looks like a wonderful place to visit or even call home.

TexWisGirl said...

so sweet. walking among the spirits of your grandparents in that lovely place...

Cindy said...

Your photos are so lovely!

Karen said...

A lovely series of shots! I love Stratford, did you get any chocolates at Rhéo Thompson's?

Red Gate Farm said...

Oh Andrea this place looks amazing! I wish I could have gone with... oh perhaps you wouldn't have appreciated a "third wheel", huh? :)

What a cute town and a beautiful setting for such a fun event!

~Chris

I'm Holly said...

Great Pictures. I've always wanted to go to Stratford. My husband has some great memories of when he went as a child.

Deb said...

Lovely photos and dialogue. I've always wanted to go there. Someday, I hope!

Shannon said...

SO pretty great shots!

Linking up for WW http://thebiancamanos.blogspot.com/

Caroline said...

Beautiful set of pics!

~from my front porch in the mountains~ said...

What a beautiful place! And you captured it's spirit way beyond..
Love your family history from here.
Lucky, you are!
LYLAS
xo, misha

MJ said...

Wow!! what a wonderful tour and a beautiful place!!! And now I certainly would love to visit :). Gorgeous photos Andrea :).

Staci at Life At Cobble Hill Farm said...

I've never been but it certainly looks beautiful!

Low Tide High Style said...

What a beautiful place, made more beautiful by your photos! And how sweet that it holds so many dear family memories for you too!

Kat :)

Maura @ Lilac Lane Cottage said...

I have never been to Stratford Andrea...in fact even though I was a neighbour of yours in Manitoba and even shared a birth year with you I never got past Kenora. I would have loved to visit there though. BEAUTIFUL photo's as always and I love the textures. You got me started you know. Enjoy your day.
Maura :)