Saturday, 13 December 2014

…everything is illuminated in the light of the past. It is always along the side of us, on the inside, looking out. –Jonathan Safran Foer

Last month we visited the Ouendat/Jesuit mission of Sainte-Marie among the Hurons, a carefully crafted recreation of a community that existed in the 1600s. They hold an annual First Light weekend, lighting over 5000 candles to illuminate this wonderful village. Celebrating First Nations’ and French cultures, it is an evening filled with music and food. From the evocative drumming in the smoke-filled longhouses, to the toe-tapping French-Canadian folksongs in the granary, and the mystical strings of the harp whispering in the church, it invites you to step into another time.  Chilled to the bone, but warmed to the heart, we enjoyed the haunting images of days gone by.

Longhouse photo:
Much of my inspiration for Raven’s Path comes from this nearby site. I visited as a small child and continue to go yearly. The moment I cross the threshold of the palisade, history wraps around me and drapes with the comfort of a blanket. Its call is inexplicable.  Each time I enter a longhouse—plants hanging from rafters, animal pelts tossed casually on the side platforms, wood smoke acrid and familiar—I pause. Center hearths glow, flickering eerily over the bark walls, contentedly snapping out warmth. I listen with my heart, take heed of my soul and I can hear it. The echoes of the past. Out of the ashes of the fires that burn, rise the people caught in the crossfire of nations.



  1. What a wonderful place! No wonder you were inspired!

  2. Thanks for taking time to drop by. I know it's been a rough week for you.

  3. Wow! This entire post is just a prime example for beautiful writing, especially the last pargraph. Thank you for sharing this with us.

  4. Nicole,

    Wonderful to see you. As a beta, you know how this inspiration flourished into a novel. If you ever come to Canada, it would be my great pleasure to bring you to this historic site so that you too can hear the whispers of the past.

  5. I'd love to go to Canada! My parents where there in the 80's and have gone into raptures about it ever since so I one day I will definitely go there myself.
    I just remember that I already was in Canada, nearly three years ago, my father and I were on a guided round-tour on the east coast of the US and we stayed for one night at the Canadian side of the Niagara Falls. You don't live near there, do you?

    1. Nicole,

      I replied to you via your beta email. If that has changed nudge me on the forum. :0)