Last fall, my husband and I moved to a rural one-acre property in Ontario’s Kawartha Lakes region. Farmers fields surround us and from every direction we see where the earth and sky meet. At night, stars are visible in the natural darkness and howling coyotes often lull us to sleep.
We also found unexpected pleasure in a local auction barn nestled on a nearby sideroad. About once a month, a blend of antique and contemporary pieces is auctioned off. Visiting there is a writer’s field trip. I’m always on the lookout for artifacts I might incorporate into my novels or short stories. We’ve seen Model-T Fords, Persian rugs, rustic cross-country skis, 200-yr-old furnishings, dishware, and collectibles.
Since the pandemic struck, items are available for in-person viewing, but bidding takes place online in lieu of raising a paddle or gesturing to the auctioneer. I’ve had the winning bid on a number of items that now have become part of our home—pickling crocks, a wool carpet, Dutch clogs, baskets, ceramic pitchers, a huge ball of twine, historical texts, a sideboard, my writing desk, linens and blankets.
Each object carries its own energy, its story. I feel great tenderness toward these acquired gifts and the hands they’ve passed through. It’s an honour to be their steward until the next set of hands takes over.
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“The environmental component is relevant to our times, the struggle to be heard over greed and ignorance and other people’s agendas is real. (…) This book would lend itself to be made into a movie.” ~ Canadian Author Association