In listening to Ferron's music, audiences are allowed to acknowledge the passage of time, people, memories, and hopes through her poetic metaphors. Her familiar vernacular, direct statements, enlightened associations, warm and husky voice, and engaging stage presence have permitted identification with her experiences and her process, her struggles and her wisdom, her universal anguish and strength. For a time beginning in 1986, however, many of her followers began to wonder about and mourn her momentary absence from recording and touring. Born on June 2, 1952, Ferron grew up in a semi-rural suburb of Vancouver, British Columbia, the eldest of seven children in a working-class family. After leaving home at 15, she scrambled financially, supporting herself by driving a cab, waitressing, shoveling gravel, and packing five-pound bags of coffee in a factory.