I have a friend whom I have not (yet) met: writer and editor Brenda Skinner, who lives in Madoc. Brenda has posted great and useful comments here at Meanwhile, at the Manse, including a link to a CBC Radio program about the good old days when toys and towels and other good stuff came in Cracker Jack and cereal and detergent boxes; and also some words of encouragement on the “If you see something you like, buy it before it’s gone!” front.
Before moving to Madoc, Brenda and her husband lived on a 45-acre wooded property – with a pond! – in rural Northern Ontario. She has written a brief and charming memoir about the experience, called “Utter Peace and Tranquility” – and it is lovely. Regular readers will know that the peace and tranquility of Queensborough is (are?) one of the chief things I love about it, so it is delightful to read a remembrance/celebration of life in a similarly peaceful place. (With a pond, yet! No pond at the Manse.)
I think Brenda won’t mind if I quote one passage that really struck me in reading this delightful little book. Here goes:
“I find I don’t need conversation to fill up all my waking hours. In fact, I prefer the long silences; it’s when my mind becomes receptive to the sounds of nature. For the first time in my life, after to moving to Skinner’s Pond [what Brenda and her husband named their property], I began to distinguish between different bird calls; notice the time of year that the peepers started their mating call; listen with a shiver to the howling of wolves and yipping of coyotes. I realized how pleasurable it is to fall asleep with the sound of rain tapping on the roof … Is there any danger of tranquility overdose?”
What lovely writing, and spot-on evocation of the quiet rural life. Brenda, as far as I’m concerned, there could never be such a thing as tranquility overdose – and I expect you agree!
New information: If you’d like to get a copy of Brenda’s book, you can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy reading!