Welcome to “Windhover Place,” where my husband, Campbell, and I have begun a new season of our lives. After more than thirty years of farming in Alberta and a decade in Vancouver, we have moved to the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia in order to be close to some of our family and to have a “Grandpa Farm,” where all our grandchildren can touch the earth, watch the tides, and feel the breeze. Oh yes, and ride on a John Deere tractor.
We have named our new home in honour of the many birds we see daily—most often eagles and ravens, but occasionally a small hawk or ‘windhover’—birds that soar on updrafts or row valiantly against the wind past our windows; and also in recognition of the rich spiritual symbolism of the wind that hovers over us, reminding us of Jesus’ words, “The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” (John 3:8), and also of Gerard Manley Hopkins’ magnificent sonnet, “The Windhover: to Christ Our Lord,” (which you can read at: http://rpo.library.utoronto.ca/poem/1050.html).
Prior to coming to Nova Scotia, I had taught for twelve years as Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies and Spiritual Theology at Regent College, an international graduate school of Christian studies in Vancouver, British Columbia. This was a rich, career-capping experience for me, as I created and taught courses in theology and literature and mentored students, many of whom are themselves now teaching, preaching and writing. Now, my lifelong collection of books, books, books is finally gathered up into one place; I have a wide-angle view of the incredible pastoral beauty of the Annapolis Valley with its rose-coloured soil and many shades of green in cropland and woodlots; Cam and I are settled in an ideal place and space for this new season of our lives, whatever all that season may bring.