here was the least common denominator of nature, the skeleton requirements simply, of land and sky - saskatchewan prairie. it lay wide around the town, stretching tan to the far line of the sky, shimmering under the june sun and waiting for the unfailing visitation of wind, gentle at first, barely stroking the long grasses and giving them life; later, a long hot gusting that would lift the black topsoil and pile it in barrow pits along the roads, or in deep banks against the fences.
- w. o. mitchell; who has seen the wind
|sunset just east of saskatoon, sk - june 2013|
i just finished reading a book that has been sitting on my shelf since i was a teenager - who has seen the wind, by w.o. mitchell. i finally pulled it off the shelf last week, when i was packing for my trip to regina - i always take a book on a road trip, even if i'm driving. i think one of the reasons i have kept this book, through all the moves, and all the downsizing, is that it was one of a handful given to me by my great grandmother. this was also a reason that i took it with me - my childhood memories of saskatchewan holidays are centered around visits with my great grandma and grandpa - and it was a perfect read for a weekend in the heart of the prairies, especially since the visit was bookended by eight hundred kilometer drives through that infinite expanse of land and sky.
the story follows the life of a boy in a small prairie town, practically walking in his footsteps as he experiences childhood, and tries to make sense of the world around him. beautifully written, and poignantly simple, i adored this book, and found myself in solidarity with brian, the main character, seeing life and death from his innocent and inquisitive perspective. mitchell's writing style is deliciously descriptive and astoundingly simple, alluding to much action and emotion that isn't contained in dialogue. i highly recommend who has seen the wind, especially if you can read it, as i did, under vast canadian prairie skies.
more photos of my saskatchewan adventure will be up later this week. until then - have you read anything beautiful lately?