Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Powerful Pull of Newfoundland: Part One.



ODE TO NEWFOUNDLAND

When Sun-rays crown the pine-clad hills,
And Summer spreads her hand,
When silvern voices tune thy rills,
We love thee, smiling land.

When spreads thy cloak of shimm'ring white,
At Winter's stern command,
Thro' shortened day and starlit night,
We love thee, frozen land,
We love thee, we love thee,
We love thee, frozen land.

When blinding storm gusts fret thy shore,
And wild waves lash thy strand,
Thro' sprindrift swirl and tempest roar,
We love thee, wind-swept land,
We love thee, we love thee,
We love thee, wind-swept land.

As loved our fathers, so we love,
Where once they stood we stand,
Their prayer we raise to heav'n above,
God guard thee, Newfoundland,
God guard thee, God guard thee,
God guard thee, Newfoundland.

--Sir Cavendish Boyle.

The anthem of Newfoundland - how many times is the word 'love' mentioned? Every time I hear this song I want to fall to my knees and weep. For the beauty of it that touched my soul so profoundly the first time my boat pulled into the harbour. A shock of recognition. Like a piece of Ireland had broken off and floated over to the other side of the Atlantic.

And every time I arrive, many times now, the tears spring to my eyes, that sense of 'home' seizes me by the soul and shakes me up until I am shivering with delight and awe. My people, the tribal connection of the wandering Irish, but it is more than that. It is the softness of the bay in front of the house there, the colours whippling and waning from turquoise to denim to grey flannel to cloudy white to azure blue. The frolicking sea lions, the soaring eagles in the trees, the fat lynx that patrols the acres, the gathering of so many sightseers when work is being done on the house, commenting, celebrating. True community. It is the man with the bag of weekly vegetables grown on his farm, the neighbour with the fresh fish, the delight of friends and family who keep the door opening and closing all summer and who crowd the deck with their writing and painting,collecting shells and stones and twigs and feathers, the humming and low murmuring voices spiked with peals of laughter.

It is the long sunset walks on the beach with the dog and the sandpiper who loves to divebomb her. It is the music. It is the others there who share this huge secret with me. We have found this magical place, like no other on earth, this place called Newfoundland, which split our hearts wide open, and enfolded us forever in her bosom.

Soon I will be there. Soon.

4 comments:

  1. I am so happy to now know who wrote the story at Maht's contest. I absolutely loved it ... and voted for it. Just beautiful work!

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  2. Thank you Beth for your kind words. Which story was yours?

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  3. I just fell into your blog! Hello. We share a similar blog title - mine is Oversixtynow.com. I live in England in the wilds of the Welsh Marches. Do feel free to visit. I shall call again soon.

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  4. Thank you Lizzie and welcome, I shall certainly visit yours!

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