Writing speaks to me in a dialogue between inner and outer landscapes. To find the numinous world that will unlock and carry the mystery of what we are and where we belong seems central to the quest.

I grew up summers along the shores of the Gatineau River, watching the sun and moon rise over the ancient Hills, laying a path of gold and silver on the water. I swam up that shimmer of moonlight on hot summer nights. I read by that shaft of sunlight shining into the cabin, fell asleep with it lingering on the far hills. My childhood was shaped by thunderstorms that came straight up the river, seizing me in a wild ecstasy of sound and light. I was drunk on danger yet safe indoors, cradled on the rocking chairs that faced the storm-swept screens. Only at the last minute did we close the windows – thrilling to the final seconds of ferocious wind, the crack and thunder of the black sky ripped apart by lurid light. The hunger for such intensity never left me, found its outlet in literature, the dazzling play of language across the page, of eerie silence before the heartbreak … the absolute vibrating presence listening for the climactic moment when the storm would hit and you had to shut the window. Or not.

Little did I know when I said goodbye to my professional life in Toronto, to follow the intimations of my fictional Waneva world, how deeply my interior landscape was embedded in the rocks and trees, river and sky of my childhood. The interplay of gold and silver, thunder and lightning, wild wind and sudden calm, has created my novels, my poetry and my teaching. The quest for the Spirit of Place has brought me home.

The Path Across Photo by Tracy Carefoot

The Path Ahead
Photo by Tracy Carefoot