I know I’m in Canada when…

Aug 15, 2014 | 4 comments |

I’m in Canada this month, reconnecting with special people and places, thinking about where I come from and how it influences my writing.

I know I’m in Canada when I…

Glimpse my dad in my cousin’s face, my grandmother in the blue of his daughter’s eyes.

Watch the English Rose having adventures with her cousins, making memories to last a lifetime.

Eat s’mores around a campfire, my fingers sticky with marshmallow and melted chocolate, wood smoke tickling my nose.

Chat over the back fence with neighbors who’ve known me since childhood, the summer afternoon fading into twilight, mourning doves calling, tomatoes hanging heavy on the vine.

Wade into what was once a glacial lake, sun at my back, sand squishing between my toes.

Drive past fields with split rail fences tilled by hands long turned to dust, prosperous communities built out of wilderness, stone houses tucked along country roads.

Watch the sun setting on the prairie, a big red ball dipping toward the west, a limitless expanse of land and sky.  

Lick local ice cream at a small-town fair, buy field-fresh vegetables at a roadside stand and stop for dinner at a diner with pickup trucks parked out front.

Visit the library which nurtured my love of reading and where the English Rose now borrows books too.  

Stand in a country churchyard where four generations of my family rest. 

Get a feeling which never changes no matter where I go, when the plane first nudges that rocky Atlantic coast, gun metal waves churning far below.

I have come home.


  1. Jean Bull

    Beautiful images of Canada, Jen!

  2. Johanna Grassick

    Sounds amazing, Jen. You lucky thing.

  3. Jen Gilroy

    Thanks for visiting and commenting, Jean and Johanna. Canada has a special place in my heart and I’m glad I could share that with you in this post.

  4. Heidi Vanstone

    I sincerely believe that our native country leaves an indelible mark on our hearts, no matter how far we travel away.

    It’s such a blessing to have time to reconnect with friends and family who have been gone for so long!


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