It is a warm spring evening, and I have just returned from a walk in the park with my dog—and I feel the sense of stillness that often comes from time spent in nature. It's the same feeling I get from Joanne Abraham's cover image Endurance—a feeling of peace and calm.
The title of this issue comes from Adele Graf's poem "Ritardando." I love how she contrasts the calamity of the urban world that we live in today with the natural world, where there is "ample calm awaiting here / to ease jangled voices / back to natural hush." Many of the pieces in this issue draw on this disjunction between the natural world and the industrialized world.
Many of the poems and pieces in this issue draw on images of protection and power. There is strength in nature. I chose to close this collection with Heather Pyrcz's "The Stripper" because for me it represents the resurrection of nature as the "earth is boundless again." This rejuvenation is uplifting because one day everything will be "back to natural hush" once again.
I had many wonderful pieces to choose from for this issue because nature is a uniquely personal experience. For me, nature is a spiritual thing, something that keeps me grounded. I hope the work of the women in these pages encourages you to rediscover or strengthen your own connection to nature.
Kathleen Kennedy lives in the country, enjoying in nature what Emerson has called "a perfect exhilaration." When not escaping to the Ontario woods, she spends her free time writing, and acquiring lost animals. Her stories are beginning to find their way to the post office.
Adele Graf's poetry has appeared previously in Room and in The Antigonish Review, The Dalhousie Review, CV2, White Wall Review, Canadian Woman Studies, Parchment, and Bywords Quarterly Journal. Adele lives in Ottawa, where she devotes her time to writing, singing, her family, and her cat.
Elizabeth Templeman lives at Heffley Lake with her husband, and a houseful of stuff their kids have left behind. She teaches at Thompson Rivers University. In 2003, Oolichan Books published a collection of her literary non-fiction called Notes from the Interior. Her essays and book reviews have appeared in various journals.