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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.

We can alter the world’s course

There’s change afoot. Can you feel it?

I can—and it has me happily rubbing my hands together and doing a high-five with anyone willing.

We’re starting off 2014 with a positive foot forward with the UN declaring that “Small-Scale Organic Farming [is the] Only Way To Feed The World.”

This is a significant statement with so many considerations: animal well-being, diversification to eliminate monocultures that are harmful on so many levels, the decentralization of food production, and reduced demand for transportation of all foodstuffs, to name just a few.

Come skate with me

Winter is raising her icy fist around the country as we Canadians of the middle-aged variety—and beyond—tune into The Weather Network with dreadful regularity.

Storms and records of cold and snowfall fascinate us it seems; winter’s entertainment.

Here in Nova Scotia, we have had an unusually early winter with dumps of snow and freezing rain coming to stay. But when people complain to me, I sneer and say, “You ain’t seen nothing” (except I try to use better grammar).

The Joy of Making Lists

As soon as Boxing Day has passed and I know for certain that Christmas has departed and taken my visiting daughters with it and I have managed to quit sobbing and have dried my eyes, then I have a tremendous urge for lists.

These lists need not necessarily be of the New Year’s Resolutions variety despite the season and all. Those particular resolution lists tend to fade as quickly as my promise not to eat my weight in Turtles over the holidays.

Oh those toys that endure

What do you want for Christmas?

We all have asked that question, and have been asked it. I always come up with a blank.

Socks, underwear, fresh tea towels. I just shake my head—coming up with nothing much.

I remember wanting a Wonderful Wendy doll, from the Eaton’s catalogue, when I was six or seven, but had to settle for the Loveable Laurie version because the Wendys were sold out (must have been a Peter Pan year).

Mandela certainly was a hero

I miss Nelson Mandela. I can feel the shift as if his very presence on Earth, the simple fact that he was breathing, kept us safer.

I felt the air go out of me, felt my insides collapse, when I heard the news of his death—despite his death being imminent for months now.

We all should mourn the loss of this man, this symbol of anti-apartheid. A man who said, “enough;” this gentle inspiration of change.

Oh those galloping kittens

There are some sounds that happen in life that I find calming, relaxing, soothing.

Sounds that are deliciously marvelous, such as a baby murmuring in her sleep with a sigh that says life is perfect, a meadowlark in the spring with her voice floating in my window on a soft gust of fresh air, the crunch of really, really cold snow (though as I age, I find this sound less and less charming), the haunting trill of the loon, and water trickling over rocks—crisp, clean cold water.

I’m not a traveller

I don’t like to travel. There, I’ve said it. That’s a load off my chest.

I also stole a piece of bubble gum from Perlette’s grocery store when I was five. It’s been weighing on my soul all these years, and I almost blurted out the truth on more than one occasion when people were kind to me.

If they only knew, I thought, they undoubtedly would reconsider their kindness.

November a quiet reprieve

It’s November. And where I am (which is not where you are, I realize), it is warm and quiet outside.

The leaves, for the most part, have fallen from the trees and are resting on the forest floor while transforming themselves into something else.

The leaves in October have a crunch to them and they fly up when you walk through them. They still have energy and life, it seems, as though the leaves don’t need the trees to carry on living.

Cities not for me

I’m not a city person. There is no part of me that could pull off being a city-dweller.

Still, I think it’s good for our global understanding that we rural and small-town folk are able to glimpse the reality that most of the world’s population experiences living in cities.

Observing city life for the past three weeks in Vancouver has helped me understand why it is so incredibly difficult to effect change in our collective thinking.

Keep it down

I’m not a fan of crowds; not a fan of large gatherings of any kind.

The noisy chatter is like litter on a windy day, blowing up in my face and making me wince. What happened to sitting quietly and waiting, for whatever we are waiting for, to begin?

I recently was at a book launch for a local author whom I didn’t know, but her book sounds rather fun (Wanda Campbell–Hat Girl–check it out).