Looking for the stone angel

Above the town, on the hill brow, the stone angel used to stand….  Summer and winter she viewed the town with sightless eyes. She was doubly blind, not only stone but unendowed with even a pretense of sight. Whoever carved her had left the eyeballs blank…. Her wings in winter were pitted by the snow and in summer by the blown grit. She was not the only angel in the Manawaka cemetery, but she was the first, the largest… (Page 1 of The Stone Angel by Margaret Laurence)

It was a gorgeous autumn day yesterday and since we were in Neepawa, one of Manitoba’s prettiest towns, where I’d be doing a reading later  in the Margaret Laurence house, and since we’d finished our chicken and coleslaw and chips at the Chicken Corral and  I’d changed out of my driving clothes into my reading ones in the restaurant bathroom and we still had an hour to spare, H. and I decided to find the cemetery. Riverside Cemetery is where Laurence, the famous Canadian writer, is buried, and where, we’d been told, the stone angel stands, who gave title to her book, The Stone Angel, with its memorable protagonist Hagar Shipley. The friendly waitress at the Chicken Corral, who gave us directions to the cemetery, said we couldn’t miss it. Continue reading