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Posted By Michelle Greysen


I have once again this past week driven the open prairie between my city life in southern Alberta and my cottage life in southern rural Saskatchewan. The journey never fails to amaze me. It is four hours of some of the best scenery this side of heaven.
There is, for me, something very real about driving the open prairie. The scenery never gets old. The insignificance of daily woes becomes so miniscule in the vastness of the open prairie. I never fail to notice that at times during the solitude of the drive I have a keen sense of feeling that I am the only soul on the universe in any direction as far as I can see. In those fleeting seconds I am both stunned and energizing.
Back in reality in the city one is never alone. We might think we are alone as we take a walk, or spend a quiet day in the house, but the reality is another person, soul, body is a mere glance away. Alone, and not a sole in sight, are not the same thing. Truly when you can look out in every direction and not even see any sign of human life, you will know what I am talking about.
No one. Nothing. Not a car, not a building, not a structure, not a being. Open rolling prairie fields of waving grasses, the biggest blue sky you can imagine, and nothing in the way of either of those meeting each other except the ribbon winding road and only you in the middle of an amazing scene. As if you are in a gallery staring, lost, in the most incredible painting you have ever seen and suddenly you find yourself plunked into the middle of your new favourite work of art. Looking forward and back, side to side while seeing, feeling, sensing, no one but you in this incredible work of art.
To me that is a prairie drive on a quiet early morning before the day gets too hot and too busy. It is a gift. A gift of the universe, of a connection, of a window to your soul. A time and place where one can truly take a long deep breath and feel ready to do what you came here to do. Energized to be the soul inside. A gift I am thankful for every time I drive alone in the early hours from the city to the cottage, but especially grateful for when on the return and arriving back to the city from the perspective of the cottage feeling far more ready and relaxed to take it all in. Open to the gift of soul and the spectacular reminder of my very own unique connection and place in the universe.

Posted By Michelle Greysen


 I can’t say there are too many weeks in my life where I have given myself some time off! Not that writers ever really rest, but I am working without distractions. Spending the next week or so out of the city and here at Landlocked is peaceful but proving to be hard work to bring myself down to a relaxed pace. The excitement is limited to the occasional pop in from my mother who lives nearby, the odd dog barking, and having to pause to wave from my makeshift driveway patio as a car passes by (everyone in this town waves to one another walking or driving by). About the only things interrupting my quiet writing time are the birds chirping or the breeze occasionally whisking in a lost piece of paper up against the fence, but other than that there is really not that much going on.
I find it difficult to take the pace down to a slow meander and still my mind. Proof in that statement is that I had only been here a day and a half and had already harvested the raspberries and made 18 jars of jam and sewn an entire quilt top which has patiently laid waiting beside my machine in the city for months. Excitement is Thursday mornings when the fresh farmers market runs – nothing like in the city as this market has one small family vendor but no shortage of fresh potatoes and string beans, and a loaf of fresh baked Hutterite-kitchen bread. In a town with only three eating establishments the opening of the new Chinese restaurant was big news and packed in the patrons in spite of the temperatures soaring into the 30’s Celsius and no air conditioning.
Small town life (about 700 people in this prairie hideaway) is a lifestyle all in itself. As this is a self- professed lifestyle blog it is obvious then that I see a correlation between where I am sitting and what I am writing. The best part about small town life, for those that have not experienced it for any length of time, is that it is, to sum it up in one word, simple.
Simple in a good way. No stress unless you make your own, no traffic or rush hour, and especially no retail shopping therapy distractions. People are madly sharing the raspberry harvest around town as the harvest is plentiful, jars are being pulled up from the cellar in anticipation of the garden harvests and for the most part people are simply relaxing. The day starts early on the hot prairie as the gardens need watering and the house cooled overnight needs shutting in from the day’s heat ahead. Evening cold suppers are planned and prepared in the morning before the kitchen is too warm leaving the rest of the day carefree to enjoy the shade and a good book.
Surprisingly this past weekend one of those prairie storms that come out of nowhere late in the day when the temperatures seem almost too hot to manage anything more than a shuffle around to fill your cold drink. Leaving as fast as it arrived and depositing inches of heavy rain, thankfully no hail on the gardens, this storm took with it the power. In the city life halts to an anxious standstill if the electricity doesn’t flow as if a lifeline has been cut for what seems like an eternal hour of waiting for that flash of lights and the modem blinking again connected to the world. Here on the open prairie the power remained out a full twenty hours, into the next evening literally shutting down the town with no shops open, no eateries, no liquor store open on a hot long weekend Saturday, no Friday night out or Saturday hustle bustle shopping. The long weekend passed just felt even longer in a relaxed gift- like way as the busy world out there somewhere hummed on the grid without this quiet prairie town. Luckily there is no street light in town so traffic was not snagged!




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