I’ve been home for five days now. My Newfoundland home, that is.
On Wednesday while in flight to Nfld, I was reading one of my texts so I wouldn’t be buried in school work when I got home. The material was about North American families and their traditional and emerging roles. It mentioned that families were not as close and connected and, in fact, relationships with extended kin- grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins- are optional and often non-existent! As well, altruism- doing for others without expectation of anything in return- is mostly extinct in contemporary society.
Here’s the neat part: All of these statements came with one exception … families in Newfoundland and Labrador! These families are very much connected, including extended members; and altruism is alive and well on the Rock. I already knew this, but science was confirming it! Using empirical evidence rather than mere theory or pure logic.
I was pretty excited about this -telling Mr President it wasn’t just my opinion about the good nature of Newfies; it was fact! Science had tried and tested these ideals, ready to confront stereotypes and destroy the Rock’s long-standing reputation if necessary, but the truth stood firm….Newfoundlanders were special people!
We landed without my usual piercing inner ear pain- a fun side effect from chemo and poison coursing through my veins for 6 months! I was convinced the pain-free landing was associated with landing in the only province considered an exception to North America’s jaded society. And it wasn’t long before my theory was supported.
Waiting at the airport was my long ago childhood friend, one I hadn’t seen or communicated with in decades. In fact, she had gotten called in to work and declined because she had to meet her friend at the airport! I had no idea she was coming, and we hadn’t talked in 25 years! G’wan! (Newfinese for You’re joking, right?!)
Only in Newfoundland.
When picking up our car at the airport, the clerk assured us not to worry about the return time, “If you’re an hour or so late, no need to worry! Don’t want you stressing; just get it here when you can, my love!” Mr P handy ’bout died. (Newfinese for about died laughing!)
Only in Newfoundland.
Everywhere we went, this pattern continued; people on the Rock take the time to chat, to help, to laugh, always sharing. Yes b’y! They truly are da best kind!
Of course, by now I had started to wonder why I hadn’t moved back. And forget balance …it’s all or none. go big or go home. “Nobody cares in Ontario! Everybody’s on their phone, rushing here and there, competing, not helping; what am I doing there?!”
I was pretty much convinced that Newfoundland was the only place on earth!
As the days went by, I noticed myself saying things like, “That’s just like the ones at home,” or “Do we have this at home?”
It began to dawn on me that my home in Ontario was not in a paper town. or a paper house. It was real. And nothing, not even my beloved Newfoundland, could rob me of the joys and loves I had experienced there. Most significantly, it was the birthplace of my three babes.
And the road to Home broadens evermore.
Recently, a couple pieces of my heart have been cut in the shapes of New Brunswick and New Zealand. And my sons carry the pieces in their pockets, making my Home ever larger. and richer.
So here I am on the Rock, celebrating my birthplace. Eating the delicious foods, enjoying the special music, loving the beautiful people.
So proud to say this place runs through my blood.
Soon I’ll go Home to Ontario, and talk on the phone to my Homes around the world.
No matter what, though….
You can take the girl from Newfoundland, but you’ll never take the Newfoundland from the girl.
And dat’s da trut!