Ask me instead about trails I've hiked, rivers swam, road trips taken. Ask me about Saskatoon berry pie and hot dogs over an open fire. Ask me about friends and where they live and how they make it work, here in the land we call home after so many generations away from our countries of origin (that we've never seen).
Ask how these points of brilliance make us one. How so many stars shining can make a picture in the sky we are privileged to share. Look up.
Canada, a constellation:inhabiting the West. prairie mavericks. mountain shadows. coastal lines and northern lights. answered prayer.
blackberries growing wild on the West Coast. stopping to pick some (lots!) on a bike ride with my family. scratching all the way. bursting with joy.
hiking around Emerald Lake. hearing later there was an avalanche. feeling lucky. drinking tea in the outdoor hot tub.
sailing in the Gulf Islands. catching the ferry to Saltspring. listening to the water's wake. and seagulls. feeling free.
walking through a field of rye. knowing it's in the family. rolling wheat between my palms. looking up at the sky. falling in love.
visiting Diefenbaker's grave. at my old stomping grounds at the University of Saskatchewan. on tour.
picking up a green canoe to venture out. finding I can barely lift it. thinking about the voyageurs. paddling. longing for water.
complaining about price spikes at Fort Edmonton, Calgary Zoo and Telus Science Centre. wanting the world to be accessible for everyone. not understanding the attraction of money. being angry.
surviving a downturn. a housing bubble. about to burst. pricing out RVs. the last generation of snowbirds. helping to load the moving truck. feeling distant.
Rev. Rundle's church. imagining him preach. thinking of the people I met up north. in the Arctic. missionaries everywhere they are needed. residential schools. what happened?!
hearing Stuart Maclean died. remembering hearing him tell his stories live and being surprised how much he moved his body. how at home he was in own skin. then the cancer. grateful for voice.
staying in touch with friends across the years. where they live. and call home. Canada.
thinking what to write. I find this is a land of individuality with a shared sense of what it means to explore, discover, enjoy, protect and pass along—as a Canadian writer I trust my voice will find a place, as there lots of room to be and grow together. And so bravely, I write.