Peri McQuay

Peri Phillips McQuay is the author of Singing Meadow: The Adventure of Creating a Country Home, The View From Foley Mountain, a book of nature meditations on her experiences living for 30 years at the Foley Mountain Conservation Area and A Wing in the Door: Life With a Red-tailed Hawk is the story of her adventures with Merak, a human-imprinted hawk, who lived free but saw McQuay and her family as her special people. Also Peri has written numerous essays, articles, book reviews and a weekly column, published in the Kingston Whig-Standard Magazine. Her credits include Country Journal, Harrowsmith, Bird Watcher’s Digest, The Snowy Egret, Seasons, The Fiddlehead, Herizons and Brick.

If Only I Could Show You Now

How it comes back to me. My aging artist father hovering in the shadows, his face intense with wistfulness. “Ah, Per, I just want to show you… If you would just let me show you…” So often, defending my instinctive need to grow and learn independently, I turned away, ignoring him, hiding from his wish to pile the wealth of his experience on me. “Maybe later…” His treasure rejected, really he expected nothing else, he slunk off towards his own …

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Heart-Centred Learning

I was taken aback the other day, when a new acquaintance with an academic background said dismissively, “It might be interesting to hear from an undergrad perspective.” Careful there. There it was all over again, the all-too familiar “us against them” educational perspective, the externally imposed rigidity of a hierarchical system. From my artist parents I inherited a fierce belief in self-directed learning. It was vital, they argued, that I discover how to learn. Once I had these skills, they …

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A Passion of Commitment

When my 90 year old, almost-blind, artist mother was returned to her hospital room after surgery to mend a broken hip, she demanded a pencil and paper from the nurse. Fumbling but intent, she began making sketches of the hundred year old woman sleeping in the next bed. Over the next few days as the fragile images piled on her hospital table, doctors and nurses began taking time off to visit this unusual patient and sift through the remarkable likenesses. …

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