Both Tom and I feel there are two great men whom we ‘met’ when our children were young. One is Fred Rogers, and the other is Raffi. Sadly, Mister Rogers has left this earth, but happily, oh how happily, Raffi is still with us, and we saw him last evening in Burlington, Vermont!! It was a lucky happening in that Margaret and Hazel were heading over that way to stay a couple nights with Matthew’s sister, and Raffi was going to be in town. And in one of those unexplainable, cosmic sorts of things, May 19 is the day that Margaret’s adoption was finalized.
Raffi was the man, the artist in the 1980s at Windy Poplars Farm. Oh, I was aware of Men At Work, Huey Lewis, Boy George, The Police, and even bought their albums, but the main music in the house and in the car for those years was sung by Raffi. He brought humor and fun and warmth and caring to the lives of little children. As we heard those songs in person, I smiled and I cried with joy. The years slipped away and I was a mother of little children again. And then I’d look over and there was one of those children holding her child, and the tears would just flow at this wonderful circle of life.
Raffi calls the people like Margaret ‘Beluga Grads’ from probably his most famous song, Baby Beluga.
The video was from 1988 when Raffi and I were both 40.
He sang a couple new songs, but mostly he did the songs all those ‘Beluga Grads’ came to hear. We were his back-up singers. Everyone knew the words to The Wheels on the Bus, Down By The Bay, Apples and Bananas, and my very most favorite, All I Really Need. No video, but the music and lyrics. It is like a meditative mantra to me.
The show was about an hour long, perfect for all the little ones in the audience. He chose the line-up of songs just right. Lively and interactive, then a couple slow lullaby-like songs, and then some move-your-body kinds of songs. He got a standing ovation. We were in the presence of a holy man, I truly believe. His life is devoted to children, through music, and through his Child-Honouring.