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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 promise of Christmas is 'hope'

What do you find inside the silence, in the dark, nestled there, out of harm's way, safe from the chaos of being alive?

You find the soft under-belly of who you are.

I ache for the silence this time of year; the still sense of peace that often gets lost in the holiday flurry—the flurry that the season has come to demand of us as we get swept up in finding the perfect gift, cooking the perfect meal, decorating the tree to become a work of art.

Helping others is a privilege

“We are all cells in the same body of humanity” ~ Peace Pilgrim

I watched a film on Netflix the other day as I hid under a blanket with my hot water bottle in an attempt to keep warm with the minus-40 temperature hurling around outdoors.

The film's title is “I, Daniel Blake.” The setting is north of London in Great Britain but it could be anywhere.

Many are listening, Garnet

I was thinking of heroes the other day while I was walking in the snow and the minus-38 C temperatures.

“Mighty Mouse” was important when I was little. He was a good guy, as most flying mice tend to be. He was always ready to save the day; he even said so in his theme song, if you remember.

Tonto and the Lone Ranger qualified as heroes, if for no other reason than the fact that a horse was their preferred mode of transportation and I so desperately wanted a horse like “Scout” (Tonto's horse).

Give your kids the gift of time

It is my father's birthday today (Nov. 29). I loved that we shared the same day number for our birthdays, as though that made our connection greater; that only he and I could understand.

I miss him and I think of him every single day. I wish we could sit together and remember, and look ahead and talk about the now, this moment, and not worry about what has happened and not fret about what might be, but truly connect in the present.

I'm not sure I'm very good at that.

Dust yourselves off

So many difficult stories flood the news today and many of them threaten our sense of well-being, or at the very least muddle our perception of who we are as members of a community, as Canadians.

As with most ostriches, I turn the television off and cringe and hope things will be different for my grandchildren.

Hoping is a lovely sentiment but is not actually participating in a remedy for those things that lead us into the darkness. But conversation helps. Listening helps.

Enjoying the lively music of Beòlach

I came all the way from Wolfville, N.S. to Dawson City, Yukon, travelled the 7,392 km, to hear the extraordinary music of Beòlach, a multi-talented group performing the magic of Cape Breton music.

I didn't come all that way just for the music, of course. But had that been the reason, it would have been well worth the trip.

I think it's rather comical that I came from Nova Scotia to hear Cape Breton music in the Yukon Territories. “That's ironic,” a few people said to me at the concert last week (I was wearing my Nova Scotia sweatshirt, just because).

Until we meet again, Annie

I heard this morning, as I write this on Oct. 29, that one of the most precious people in my life has gone.

I scarcely can imagine the sun will continue to shine without Annie Lahti; that spring will ever come again and that I will find my way home.

I write this for her.

Dear Annie:

I would have sat at your bedside these last weeks had I been able; had I been allowed to abandon my post in the Yukon. I would have held your hand, whispered my favourite stories—stories of you.

It's all just mind over matter

I have a raspberry seed from my morning toast and jam stuck in my molar—the molar just ahead of my missing wisdom tooth (top right to be precise).

I can hear the voice of Joe Friday from “Dragnet.” Just the facts, ma'am.

I have flossed and brushed and picked and rinsed and yet I cannot loosen the wicked seed from its vicious grip. And it seems all I can focus on is the discomfort caused by said seed.

Remembering the people's poet

Charles Lindbergh carried a copy of Robert Service's poems during his record-setting non-stop flight across the Atlantic Ocean in 1927.

Lindbergh was prepared for the monotony of the trip and the drone of his monoplane, “The Spirit of St. Louis." Even Lindbergh knew that Robert Service's poetry, which Robert preferred to be called verse rather than poetry, was "clear, clean, and power-packed” and didn't allow for nodding off at the controls of an aircraft.

I feel like riding the rails

I feel like taking a ride on a train this morning, like my family did when I was 10 years old.

It probably was the most exciting few days of my life, certainly of my childhood, though getting my first “very own” pony would have to top the list (not a hand-me-down pony from my sister but my very own).

Come to think of it, there were quite a few childhood highlights. But at this moment, in my self-imposed solitary confinement where it snowed last night and it was still dark at 8:30 this morning, the train was calling to me.