…we walked through the little graveyard surround the Murray Church in the townsite of Upper Nicola, on highway 5A, the old road between Merritt and Kamloops. In that graveyard, I found names that spoke to me, though they weren’t my dead. They spoke to me and agitated and I wrote my first lyric essay, “Morning Glory” (in my book Red Laredo Boots). The church, built in 1876, and its surroundings, its beautiful plain dignity, the graveyard of old iris and cacti — well, they eventually helped me to write my first novel, Sisters of Grass.
I have to write this now. I have to write this while I can. I just heard on the noon news that the church burned to the ground yesterday. Arson is suspected. I will go through old photo albums (this was all before computers and digital files) and probably I’ll cry.