I do not like my surroundings; Saskatchewan seems depressing to me. Feeling and thinking this way bothers me. I have always loved to look at the flowing wheat and barley in the endless fields as I drove. The golden fields would be interrupted by yellow canola flowers and purple flax – so many colours. I have always loved Saskatchewan’s beauty. I thought that enjoying a prairie lake would revive the Saskatchewan heart that beats in me. Instead I find myself crying.
– Excerpt from Sunlight, Wakaw Beach Chapter
In Sunlight I wrote about my struggles with my Saskatchewan heart. Since Sunlight I have recovered it and have come to realize that there are others out there with a Saskatchewan Heart but it is different than mine.
Despite me living on an acreage which looks like a farm because we just bought the yard but are surrounded by fields, I am actually a small town girl. As a child I loved biking down town or cutting through some paths accross the tracks to rent a movie. Dances in a small town are amazing. The whole family attends, bar is open and if you live in a town you can walk home afterwards. I was never much of a drinker so I never much benefited from the walk home for that reason.
Teela dancing at my hometown’s reunion last summer. My older girls are behind her and to the right.
My friends in town would come and knock on my window in the night and I would “sneak out” to go for a walk with them at some crazy hour in the night. I never really “sneaked out”. We lived in a very small house which I often refer to in foundness as a shack. There was only one door in the house and you had to walk through the living room and kitchen to get outside. So there was no sneaking past dad. Unless he was in the washroom.
This is my childhood home as of last year. It has been abandoned for the last 8 years. Sadly that hasn’t changed its appearance much. I have great memories growing up here though.
There are town kids and there are farm kids. I think being a farm kid had more prestige in my class or school but to me it was all a matter of perspective. It kind of reminds me now of the story “Sneetches” by Dr. Seuss. Some Sneetches had stars on their bellies and others did not. There was a lot of segretation due to these stars just as there was some segregation if you lived in town or not.
My childhood yard. We had an amazing fort in the back of those trees.
This leads to the idea of their being different types of Saskatchewan hearts out there. If kids grew up on the farm they have more of an attachment to the farm, to openness, and perhaps even the earth. That is not to say us town kids were not attracted to these things but it was different. We biked out of town to find them and the country kids had it right outside their door.
My father-in-law has the heart of a prairie boy. He is a hunter and simply loves to be outside with earth. Building, tending honeybees, gardening, seeking out people who have fresh eggs or farm meat. He is resourceful and innovative. He is always inventing and designing. He is a farm boy. Farm boys is another type of Saskatchewan heart.
Last night I attended my daughters year-end celebrations for pre-k. One little guy up there won an award for being the first bullriding cowboy. Everyday this boy wore cowboy hat and boots to match plus one glove cause he was that is what bull riders do. It runs through his blood. His parents won’t be able to shake him from it even if they tried. Which I don’t think they will.
(My Teela won the award for Littlest Princess. She is everyone’s friend and kind. Plus she wears dresses all the time and fancies herself a princess)
Oh, there is more types out there. I am sure there is a blending of them all or parts and pieces of a few. If you ever hear someone say they have a prairie heart just ask them what they love about it. It might be hard to put into words. It is like asking us how our DNA feels.