Welcome to Stones and Flowers. My name is Edna Alison Froese.

Once upon a time I identified as a country girl, raised on a dairy farm in the prairies, a Mennonite, an evangelical Christian. I have since added identifications: wife, mother, friend, instructor of English at the U of S (STM College), writer, maker of jams and jellies, grandmother, gardener, lover of the outdoors, avid reader.

The “evangelical” part of my Christian identity has changed to ex-evangelical, but “Christian” remains. Some of those roles one can retire from; some remain for life, maybe all. Some identities were comfortable; some uneasy. As Stanley Kunitz wrote in “The Layers,” “I have walked through many lives, / some of them my own.”

The writing compulsion, however, is that part of me that Kunitz described as “some principle of being” that “abides.” Now in my retirement years, I wish to foster that writing self. I’d like to share with my friends, the ones I have and the ones I may gain through this blog, the mysteries of living and the discoveries of mindfulness and the necessity of inner spiritual sensitivity. All of which we all experience yet often lack words for. I want to be a wordsmith for you, my friends.

After many years of writing and reading supposedly objective academic essays, I was delighted to discover the personal essay, thanks to the Prairie Messenger, for which I wrote a monthly column for two years. In tribute to the always encouraging editor of the PM, and the kindly readership of that long-lived, but now expired Catholic newspaper, my first blog posting is the farewell column I wrote for the Prairie Messenger. Subsequent blogs, which I hope to post every two to four weeks, will include many of the columns that I wrote for the PM. Thank you, Maureen Weber! And thank you, Lloyd Ratzlaff, my writer friend who first persuaded me to submit something to the PM.  

“I have walked through many lives, / some of them my own.” —Stanley Kunitz