Sunday, October 08, 2017

Lazy Sunday # 491: The Fire's Out

After the worst forest fire season in recorded history, which scorched an area of British Columbia four times the size of Vancouver and the rest of our urban mainland, the flames are out.

Crews that came from across Canada and all over the world to fight the wildfires are going home. Some leave quietly. Others make you wish they'd stay forever. Not just because of their courage and commitment. But because they hold onto something we've lost.

Remember when people used to sing at work? 

And I'm not talking about chain gangs but that sense of community and communal labor that caused all kinds of people to get together in song. 

As a kid, I remember railroad crews busting out a tune to set the rhythm of their hammers or some cowboy bringing out his guitar at a campfire after the branding was done.

When you took your car to a garage, there was always a radio blasting back in the repair bays and one or two of the mechanics joining in.

Every police force and fire department had a choir or a band or both. Geez, even coal miners sang between coughing fits as they hacked up a lung.

But people don't even turn on a radio at work anymore. Workplaces have become these quiet hives, where even the crappy muzak in the elevator is being replaced by tiny TVs offering stock quotes and snippets from CNN.

And those who do their jobs to tunes do it with earbuds, seldom to experience the delight of a shared song.

When did work become all about work and lose the joy that made working with other people worthwhile?

What follows is a Samoan Crew of Firefighters leaving the woods after killing a wildfire. They're hot and tired. Bruised and sore from the back-breaking labor.

But they've got a song in their hearts.

This is special.

Enjoy Your Sunday.

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