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Newfoundland is Calling Me!
The Universe is making it clear that I need to go to Newfoundland!
It started in North Bay, Ontario a couple of years ago. I was in a bookstore and was drawn to a book called Where Genesis Begins, a lovely edition highlighting âtwo of Newfoundlandâs foremost artists.â The art of Gerald Squires with the Poems of Tom Dawe captivated me with their haunting beauty. The themes of the poetry and their connection with the art resonated with me.
I have always loved the sea and wild landscapes, as I was born close to the Ionian Sea in Italy. (I immigrated to Canada with my family in 1963.) As a writer, I have fantasies of sitting on a bluff staring out at the Atlantic Ocean and creating a story with the salt-water breeze swirling around me . . .
Last year, my husband asked me where I wanted to go after I retired from teaching in June 2015. I decided I really wanted to explore Newfoundland, where Italian navigator Giovanni Caboto (John Cabot) was credited with landing on the island in 1497.
In July 2014, I went to Parry Sound from Sudbury (a couple of hours away) to attend the concert of âThe Navigatorsâ from Newfoundland. Their music delighted me. I havenât stopped playing their CD. I wake up at night with their lyrics on my mind . . .âIâm a Newfoundlander born and bred and Iâll be one till I die; Iâm proud to be an Islander and hereâs the reasons why. Iâm free as the wind and the waves that wash the sands. Thereâs no place I would rather be than here in Newfoundland . . .â
The music, the lyrics, the ballads . . . I canât get enough!
Last summer, my husband and I were in a store here in Sudbury, Ontario and he picked up a book that caught his eye: River Thieves by Michael Crummey, set in Newfoundland. As he was coming to show me the book, I had picked a book up, attracted to its colourful cover. It was The Corrigan Women, set in an isolated Newfoundland village. The synchronicity was amazing! We bought the books, of course!
When school resumed in September, I discovered that one of my colleagues had gone to Newfoundland for a wedding over the summer. She showed me her wonderful photos and gave me the names of some of the places she had visited.
Shortly after, I got the newsletter from Parry Sound Books that Newfoundland author Michael Crummey was going to be at the Stockey Centre on November 6th, 2014 (International Festival of Authors event), reading from his new book Sweetland! I immediately made plans to attend.
On September 25, 2014, my husband was switching channelsâ¦on TVO there was a program called The Edge of Canadaâ¦featuring the north section of NFLD.
On Tuesday, Sept. 30, at my âCraft and Chatâ get-together, my friends surprised me with NFLD style raincoat, hat, cod purse and oyster shucking gloves!
On a Friday in October, I turned on the radioâ¦it was CBCâ¦the personality was talking about a Newfoundland band: Hey Rosetta.
The day after, I was at a Walmart in Sudbury and as I strode by the magazine area, my gaze settled on a small magazine (Readerâs Digest size). DownHome Magazine, with the words Land and Sea underneath. I went over, opened it up. Surprise! It was printed in St. Johnâs and was all about Newfoundland! I bought it, of course, and after perusing it at home, subscribed to it online.
In the months that followed, I have had many more indications that NFLD is the place to go!
Today (September 24, 2015) I renewed my yearly subscription to Downhome Magazine.
After my daughterâs upcoming wedding in February, I will heed the Universeâs message, which is loud and clear, and make plans to go to Newfoundland!