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Wendi Stewart - Wendi with an 'eye'

Wendi lives in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley, but the farm on Rainy River in Crozier will always be her home. MEADOWLARK, her debut novel released September 15, is published by NeWest Press of Edmonton. She is the mother of four daughters who did the unforgivable: they grew up.

The power of being quiet

I’m an introvert.

I pretend I’m not; have covered up that truth pretty well over the years—often over-compensating for the quiet I love best while keeping hidden my need for silence and alone time.

My generation were told early on in life that only the bold would succeed, pointing to the likes of Dale Carnegie and his self-improvement strategies and the empire that Tony Robbins has built on “selling” self to those introverts who think they should be extraverts.

Saying good-bye to my pony

I said good-bye to my pony last week—a task I had been procrastinating about for months, maybe even a year.

Just a few weeks ago, we were commenting on Forewarned’s rotund belly and sleek coat, and wondering if he might be able to do another winter (because winters are very hard for him at his age).

He must have heard us and took matters into his own hands, or hooves if you prefer. Long story short, Forewarned has been laid to rest to the right of the garden, just next to Stinky, Samantha’s cat who left us last August.

Out of sight, out of mind

Homelessness. We who have homes tend to think of homelessness as an inconvenience to witness, sometimes, if not always, judging those who live on the street, classifying them as lazy losers, an eyesore in the downtown areas of our cities. I wonder how we would adjust our point of view if the world slid out from under us for even just one night and we had to exist on the street without comfort or shelter.

Live simply to be my new motto

I was looking at a magazine in a waiting room the other day.

I should preface this tale with the fact I’m not a particularly good waiting room-type person. If I was a student of waiting, I would require remedial assistance, with no awards of any kind in my future—not even the kind of award that recognizes I showed up (participation I think they call it).

Though in all fairness to me, I’m much better at waiting than I used to be, so I suppose there is always hope.

Raise mug to coffee shops

I was thinking about coffee shops the other day as I found a corner to tuck myself into in my favourite sanctuary and put on my headphones to listen to Yiruma play the piano in my ears while I created images with words on my paper.

I pretended it was my Thea playing the piano; that she sat right behind me at a grand piano while I worked. And her music kept my thoughts flowing, instead of where she really is, far too many miles away.

Henry Ford had it right

I used to work for a lawyer for a good many years, and aside from preparing wills and dealing with corporate paperwork, my job was administering the financial details of estates.

And as such, I had regular dealings with financial institutions.

As a result of these “regular dealings,” I had a large sign on the wall of my office that clearly read in large black letters: I HATE BANKS!

Decency is all around us

In light of what is going on in the world, I have the distinct urge to crawl under the bed and live out my life oblivious to mass shootings, animal cruelty, voters who have forgotten the children, and governments that have misplaced their humanity.

But if I am under the bed, then I become part of the problem rather than a participant in the solution.

When I hear the endless “bad” news on the radio, on television, and in newspapers, I first cringe and wince and try to block out the sound, then ready myself to run for cover.

Some fashion sense

I give myself no credit for having any fashion sense, and I should qualify said confession with an I could not possibly care any less.

I’ve had such a steady diet of jeans and sweatshirts that when I do emerge in a dress or other garment from that category, I feel very much a fraud.

When I wear high heels, it creates great cause for laughter for those around me; my feet shouting out in protest.

We only pass this way once and I can’t quite get my head around the rationale behind wearing heels on this one-way trip.

Spring is nature’s finest hour

Spring is a great time of year; it may very well be the most expressive season.

It’s certainly the most hopeful despite spring’s tardiness, besides its awakening of biting insects and crawling vermin that may very well desecrate the trees and their leaves.

But for now, in this moment, Mother Nature is celebrating one of her most beautiful displays of wonder. Perhaps spring is her finest hour.

What I wish I had taught

I doubt very much if there is a mother on Earth who doesn’t think from time to time, if not regularly, that she could have done a better job at parenting.

I know I wish I had done better.

After spending time with my four daughters and celebrating the wonder that they are, the people they have become despite my flaws and missteps, I am reminded of what I wish I had taught them.