A Sunday Afternoon in Late May at Macphail Homestead
Spend an afternoon at the Macphail Homestead, writing in the Great Room in the house, doing yoga in the Nature Centre in the barn, taking a meditative walk along the stream. Tune into the natural world and the homestead world so loved by Sir Andrew Macphail’s mother, Catherine.
In his semi-autobiographical memoir, The Master’s Wife, Sir Andrew Macphail writes about his mother, Catherine Moore Smith McPhail, who was the schoolmaster’s wife. Catherine had a strong influence—an indelible influence—on Sir Andrew and his many siblings, on her husband, and on the homestead itself.
“The Master’s wife had a love for every growing thing,” writes Macphail. “…From every journey she would bring home a slip, a flower, or a shrub. She planted them in any obscure place known only to herself, and a child had to move with care lest he did damage. Occasionally they grew, and a child would be set to weed away the thicket of grass that surrounded them.”
Catherine’s “solicitude for a plant was so great that she would not allow it to be pruned. Roses ran wild; shrubs sent up suckers that grew into ungainly trees. When in time the garden became a jungle, the utmost she would permit was that a branch be tied back with a piece of string; it must not be allowed to feel the pain of iron. …But to all objectors she had her answer on a summer day when she looked up into the sky and beheld the heavens filled with flowers, and heard the bees murmuring like surf on a distant shore. If on that day the humming-bird came to the honeysuckle she kept for this convenience, her triumph was complete.”
Rachel Leslie, Kundalini and Hatha yoga teacher, and Deirdre Kessler, author and current P.E.I. poet laureate, will hold an afternoon writing and yoga workshop at Macphail Homestead on Sunday, May 20, 2018, from 1:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Cost: $45 includes all writing materials & refreshment break. Yoga mats and other props provided, but bring your own mat if you wish. To register, contact Rachel Leslie firstname.lastname@example.org or tel: 902 215-0668.