But yet, a part of me must still be attached to my prairie birthplace. My romance novella, coming out this week,
Northern Lights, takes place in northern Manitoba. My next novella with Prism Books is set in the late 40s and features a prairie one-room-school teacher.
I’m just finishing first draft of a cozy mystery set in-you guessed it-rural Manitoba.
I have yet to write a story that takes place on the west coast. I read an article that said our deepest memories are formed by the time we are in our mid-twenties. I think I believe it. No matter how right our current home may be for us, the emotional pull is still to our early life. These memories are the ones our senses lead us to. A scent of sweet peas takes me to my Aunt Ethel’s garden. The sight of a calf with its mother sends me back to my farm childhood. Every time I see a horse running in a pasture, I can feel the musty sweat of horse on my legs riding bareback on the farm. Show me a picture of a farmyard barn and I swear I can even smell the manure. Maybe this is the one comfort of aging. The last memories to go are the ones of childhood, the ones we treasure most.
Of course, there’s always the flip side. The sight of a snowbank reminds me of being isolated for days in a storm. The weatherman can give me flashbacks real enough to make me shiver in a 20(C) degree room. Any buzzing sound makes me want to scratch as I remember the size of those prairie mosquitos.
Whatever our memories are, I think there’s a comfort in them. Faced with all the uncertainties of a hectic present day life, the past always seems happier, simpler and more manageable. I’m sure most of it is due to the selective quality of memory but, if we can fast forward and rewind to get past the parts we don’t want to relive, why not?