Newfoundland: Sea, Solitude And Song w/Video
There’s something about Newfoundland, Canada, that gets under your skin.
I think it comes from the disarmingly warm and open people.
And it comes from the aching loneliness of the surrounding sea where Lilliputian villages snuggle against the craggy faces of mighty cliffs.
“Give us a song,” the dark-haired beauty called out from the doorway of one of the many Celtic pubs and taverns in St. John’s, Newfoundland’s energetic capital.
The young men sitting around the table smiled at her, and the patrons hoisted drinks and called for a song.
“Give us a tune,” she laughed boldly, tossing her hair carelessly.
The hand-held drum vibrated slowly.
The flute played its thin, haunting melody.
The fiddler stirred the crowd.
And a song was sung, a melody of lovers who this time triumphed over the unforgiving sea and the starkly beautiful land.
This Canadian Atlantic province is not for the tourist rushing from one photo op to another or shopping for couture in designer shops, though those can be found.
It’s a destination to in-gather your thoughts; to marvel childlike at the taciturn men with laughing ways and easy quips readying boats for weeks - long fishing trips.
It’s a place to respect and acknowledge the survival skills of villagers living in a handful of homes perched precariously on the edge of the sea.
These self-reliant people are fiercely independent but unfailingly eager to help. They’ll always offer a tale or two over a pint or just a chat by the side of the road.
Newfoundland’s arts and culture deeply reflect the values and experiences of these ordinary lives. There’s nothing elitist about them…nothing precious or unapproachable.
In the nearby cellar of the Anglican cathedral, lots of Jane Marple look-alikes serve tea and crumpets in the crypt.Continued on the next page