I read The Shipping News by Annie Proulx and hated it. I thought Newfoundland couldn’t be like that, especially the people.
I looked into it, Newfoundland.
They’ve got a lot of different berries growing there, maybe fifteen varieties. Ones you never heard of, all over the island in Summer. Amazing. Why those types of berries, and only there? A kind of fruit mystery.
Gros Morne is a park on the Western edge, the farthest reaches of a land with a skimpy population. A lot of moose and bears live there too. There must be many different animals in the wild reaches of the land, but a moose could come through your backyard any day of the week.
Everything’s simple when it’s down to survival. What’s to eat? Can I sleep here? I don’t want a bear to visit. I’m cold; I need a fire. It would be like that, I think.
I’ve never been to Newfoundland. I’ve been infected by its spirit. I dream about living there, alone in a cottage overlooking the sea. I imagine I could stay there for years.
One day, I’d get in a boat and row from there to Labrador. If there aren’t many people in Newfoundland, I’d reason, there are fewer in Labrador. After being in Newfoundland for what would feel like too long, I’d assume life would be easier in Labrador. Brutal, but easy.