Wednesday, August 29, 2007


Tuesday I thought I had landed in Paradise, but instead found myself in the Goulds. I say "The Goulds" because it is nearly impossible for my brain to allow my tongue to say just "Goulds". I don't know why and for the most part have given up asking.

What, you might wonder, was so paradisiacal about my parents' garden? The weather for starters. Perhaps fine weather is so rare in these parts, that when it occurs it's as though a desiccated man lost in the desert had just been given water filtered through honey and citrus leaves. That is to say, it is exquisitely appreciated. The sky above me was strewn with streamers of cloud and blue and pink and purple. The grass, due to frequent summer rains, was thick and practically glowed it's chlorophyll green.

I had been sleeping on the patio in a homemade lounger but awoke and decided to find some chives my mother had planted. I had expected them to be difficult to spot amongst all the other greenery, but I found them easily as they were a huge spiky bush. Taking a few stems was entirely unnoticeable. Behind me were the raspberry bushes which are easily over five feet in height. A few (more than a few) jewel red clusters beckoned me. There really is no language that can describe the burst of sweetness from a fresh picked berry. It is the sensation that we use to describe other things by ("sweet as a fresh picked berry"), but there are no other things to describe it. Remembering the crush of juice and seeds on my tongue can almost make me cry. I looked at the hills beyond Fourth Pond, with my mouth full of berries, I asked myself, "Where am I? What is this place?"

Yet, there is trouble in paradise. In the week I've been home, I haven't recycled a single scrap of garbage, nor dropped even a seed in any compost, and have driven everywhere and exclusively in 4-wheel drive vehicles. It's probably the strangest thing about Newfoundland. People who live here claim it as one of the most beautiful places in the world and wouldn't dream of living anywhere else but they treat the place like a giant garbage dump. Let's not mention that Newfoundland is also Canada's second fattest province (though surprisingly, St.John's is only Canada's tenth fattest city). I'm also curious why, whenever I come home, the radio is playing exactly the same music as when I left in 1988?

All in all though, it's been a good trip and one I wish was easier to do. For now, I'll take what I can get, including the jars of pickled onion and tomatoes and bakeapple and blueberry jams.

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