Tuesday, January 22, 2008

On Newfoundland...(The Rock)

I am not a Newfoundlander, though I would love to call myself one. I have had the pleasure of visiting The Rock on many occasions and have always enjoyed myself when on it's shores. I have stood at the end of Cape Spear with my cup of Tim Horton's, to be the first person on the North American continent to see the sun rise. I love it's beauty, it's people and it's many dialects. Bay-wops, townies, or folks in between. I can recognize the slightest lilt of a Newfie accent at 500 paces and will always ask someone which part of The Rock they are from. Much as my better half is prone to do as well.

I have had the pleasure of sailing with many Newfs over the years and I can truthfully state that to a man, they were some of the finest and funniest people I have known. Newfoundland fills me with mixed emotions whenever I'm there. I am awed by the ruggedness and the majestic beauty of her coastline, her fjords and her cliffs. My heart is warmed by the hospitality, the language and the conviviality of it's people. Yet I am saddened that for as wonderful a place and a people as they might be, they almost invariably have a hard road to travel. I would want so much more for them.

But then it occurs to me. In all my travels, I have always found, without exception, that those with the least to offer, are the most generous. Those who work the hardest for what they have, are the most ready to share. Newfoundlanders, God love and bless each and every one of them, are no different. It is because life on The Rock is hard, that they are who and how they are. It is their total lack of pretentiousness that renders them so endearing. They speak 'the King's English' and are sore proud of it. Their attachment to friend, family and this enchanted province is evident in all they say and do.

As the old saying would have it: "It's easy to recognize a Newfoundlander in Heaven. He's the lad who's pining to go home...".

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