Sunday, 29 June 2014

Songs in the Key of D

There is always much to absorb when we travel. It is as if I am on sensory overload. Colours are more vivid, odours more pungent. It is almost too much to take in all at once. But it is the sounds that I always find the most magnificent. Perhaps that is because my ear has a heightened tuning much like others might have viewing patterns or shapes. I hear music in everything and here in Newfoundland it is abundant.

I heard it yesterday when we heard the ships singing to each other with consecutive horn blows. I heard it this morning at Tim Horton's when two young women were exchanging Sunday pleasantries in a definite Avalon pattered accent littered with local slang and jargon. I heard it on the rocks at Cape Spear where the waves of the North Atlantic hit the coastline with a syncopated rhythm. I heard it as we climbed toward the lighthouse as two foghorns played a magnificent duet in the key of D. (No...I don't have perfect pitch. There's an app for that.) I heard it at Pouch Cove where two seagulls and their young 'uns were nesting in the rocks beside the crystal blue sea. I heard it in the hum of the artisan's sewing machine in the village of Quidi Vidi. And I heard music from another time when we climbed through the anchor grave yard at Bauline where I imagined fisherman from the distant past sharing a sea shanty as they hauled in their daily catch.

Yes, the music is abundant here and not all of it is found in the myriad of pubs that line George Street. The undercurrent of music and lyrics seems to act as a score for daily lives of the locals and it is quite magnificent.

A couple of quick notes. There was an intense feeling of smallness as I sat on the rocks at Cape Spear overlooking the Atlantic. There was a period of time while we were there when we surmised that when Twin Son disappeared onto a trail that he wasn't supposed to be on, for that singular moment in time he was the furthest east of any person in North America. (Google Maps might prove me wrong.)

A unique Canadian experience. While at the lighthouse at Cape Spear, a couple walked in and admitted that they hadn't purchased tickets. The young guide told them not to worry. "We work on the honour system here." She told them to purchase their tickets on the way out....and they did.

The people here are amongst the friendliest we have ever encountered. We didn't pass a soul who didn't wish us a "Good Morning" or share a smile.

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