Writer, editor and contributor Ruth Daniell talks snowy winters, clean sheets, and family...
Where is home for you?
I recently re-located to the Okanagan Valley in BC, Canada and this place is beginning to feel like home. Previously, I spent 10 years on the west coast but I grew up in the much snowier northern interior. Home, for me, is overwhelmingly wherever my family is. When my husband and I wrote our own wedding vows years ago, mine included the promise that I recognize a kind of home for me within my husband and that I will make space to be a home for him. I still believe that home is often less about the place and more about the people.
If you could choose to live anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Realistically, I think I’m probably going to live my whole life in BC, my home province—it’s just so vital to me to be near family and almost all my family is in this (admittedly very large) province. I would, however, love to live short-term in eastern Canada, in Scotland, in France, and in Germany!
What smells remind you of home?
Sawdust. Cedar. Lake water. Hot sun in long grass. A fire in a wood stove. Mown grass. The smell of a candle burning inside of a pumpkin. Frost. Clean sheets. That particular scent of freshly-fallen snow.
And, oh, the smells of food! If home is really about relationships with people, it’s easy to see how home would be so firmly linked with food: relationships are formed and sustained by sharing food together. For me, that includes the smell of fresh banana oatmeal muffins, buttermilk pancakes cooking on a griddle, my grandmother’s chocolate cake baking in the oven…
What makes you homesick?
Nothing makes me feel more homesick than spending winter, especially Christmas, in a place without snow. I love snow.
Ruth Daniell is an award-winning Canadian writer and the editor of Boobs: Women Explore What It Means to Have Breasts (Caitlin Press, 2016). Her poems and stories have appeared in journals across North America and elsewhere, including Arc, Event, Grain, Room Magazine, The New Quarterly, and previously in Synaesthesia Magazine. She lives in Kelowna, BC.