Tuesday, September 07, 2010
Reason # 2621 I live in Newfoundland
It is an extraordinary feeling, the sense that my whole life was just a holding pattern to prepare me to live here in Newfoundland. Getting ready, as it were.
Even in Ireland, surrounded by relatives, friends, acquaintances, I never felt that complete sense of belonging for my self alone, I was always someone's daughter or cousin or niece or grandchild. There was a sense of obligation both on my part and theirs.
But here it is just me, there is none of that baggage, none of the tribal or historical about it.
When I go berry picking here with friends, it feels like I've been doing this for ever. Blue sky above, with the matching ocean below, the hills a pulse of blueberries, the conversation monosyllabic for the most part as butterflies and bees dance among the bushes and I think: there is no finer thing than gathering winter food from the lavish abundance of the land.
My days lately are full of activities. Visiting and being visited is still very strong here, in the true Irish tradition. It is hard to work, the distractions are too attractive.
Today it was afternoon tea at a friend's. And there was all the time in the world to savour the slow talk, the village gossip, the condition of our planting, the work being done on my house, who dropped in to see me, who dropped in on them, our respective families.
Earlier in the afternoon, it was another friend bringing her visiting sister, while Gordon-The-Gift banged out a holy floor in my bedroom above us - the gorgeous narrow boards are from an old church and I, this godless woman, is getting an enormous charge out of that.
And I haven't even talked about the food thing yet.