© 2018 by J.E Stanway. All Rights Reserved.

the Wild Rose Country and the Life it Gave me



"I like to think I'm a good writer. Much of the time I'll just sit about during my day when I'm not able to write, and long for my hours when I may do so. I love to write about things that I sometimes feel are lost to the world; innocence, joy, love, nature and the days where one could look outside their window, and see not buildings and machinery, but an abundance of wildflowers."
February 25th, 2018, from my personal journal

I've often written passages like this over the years. For whatever reason I questioned why I had such an inclination for the simpler things in life, especially the connection I feel to nature. My first instinct when I decided to write a novel was to write about a farm girl, and whenever the seasons change from winter to spring, I feel my life is infinitely more beautified by the bloom around me. I'll always wonder why it never occurred to me before, that I feel this pull to farm life, because I've lived it.


My mother grew up in a little country village in the Albertan Rose Country, in a big blue farmhouse. I was home schooled as a girl, so we often found ourselves making that ten hour drive to the wheat and canola fields, approaching the bend in the road with the tree covered silo. We went there at least twice a year, for weeks at a time. The majority of my memories as a little girl were spent on that farm, but I never felt more connected to those days than I do now.



I never really considered myself to be a farm girl. I didn't live on the farm, I only visited a handful of times a year. But as I reflect on the memories I've made there, the knowledge I gathered, and the experiences only those armed with a deep love of creation may understand, I realize I was quite wrong. I believe I've been away from there for so long, that as the years go by I feel that pull to farmland even more. My love for that past life has increased over time, and I find myself always thinking about it.


From eating my Nanna's jarred plums, discovering secret hiding places in my mothers old bedroom, creating a fort in one of the trees, and being afraid of the hundred year old outhouse in the field, I formed a collection of irreplaceable moments that have shaped my life in ways I never anticipated. The stories I write, the movies I watch, the books I read are all connected to this idea of a simpler life. A life that brings you so much closer to God, that merely caressing the lush fields of wheat and canola are a prayer in themselves. So when my sister told me the other night that she wanted to write a book about the childhood we spent there, I was more than enthusiastic.


The old adage of "write what you know" has never been more real to me than it is now. While my sister takes the memories we made in that blue farmhouse and writes a memoir-style book, I extract the emotion and atmosphere created by that lifestyle, and infuse my writings with it. I think that there are some experiences that we don't feel head on, until months or even years later. They take longer to prosper, but those to me are the best experiences. They age well, like a fine wine. And they continue to change our lives, as we reach each new bend in the road.



"If you truly love nature, you will find beauty in all things."
- Vincent Van Gogh

What are some of your favorite childhood memories? Let me know in the comments below!

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