It’s day eleven on the pond and the sun has returned to this Atlantic Maritime summer. For the last three days much-longed-for rain has fallen steadily driven by wind gusts of sixty km per hour and more. The Blue Charm Inn has sat snug and incredibly still on its wood and rock foundations. Warmed with the fire inside we watch and wonder even now, three years down the track, at the choices that find us here in the pristine wilderness of Newfoundland. Geographically we could hardly get further away from Crow Kiah, our Australian home. Yet every year we land more physically grounded, more emotionally and spiritually integrated, into this our second home.
Just beyond our window the ever-present ever-moving surface of New Pond is a constant enchantment. Surprisingly often a dark mirror, perfect in its mimicry of everything in the world above, replicating in minute detail everything but itself, captivating with its unerring stillness the deep reflective yearning of one’s soul. Then sometimes within minutes it is transformed into a raging sea, waves crashing on the shore. But unlike an ocean the white-tops dance to the whim of the wind, visibly turning as if on a great wheel, a full half circle as the storm’s thrust turns from the south to the north.
Maga sculptures have begun to populate bench tops and shelves as Nettie dedicates long hours to clay and the visions of her dreaming. Words are beginning to fill pages as Fran’s new story takes form.
Our squirrel scampers up trees and over the roof coming to earth to consume the bright red ground berries pumped and lush with the rain. A sea eagle came by yesterday close enough to almost count its feathers returning for a second and third peruse of our rocky shoreline. Pairs of loons sit calmly in gentle or raging seas. Largely quiet by day, twilight and night echo their haunting calls as they respond from one cove to the next.
And then there’s the salmon… what powerful presence they have in the pond. Ragged Harbour River runs through an eight-mile series of connected ponds including ours. In the central stream of the half mile stretch of water between the cabin and where we leave our car, it takes an exceptionally deep cold winter to fully freeze over due to the river’s relentless flow below. This is the path of the salmon as they head upstream to spawn. Salmon fishing has been temporarily closed on the river due to high water temperatures resulting from a dry early summer. We respect the decisive action and are more than happy with trout.
Day and night leaping salmon of all sizes clear the water as they twist and somersault, re-entering with a resounding splash and ripples that spread to infinity. Catching your ear and eye with their exuberant delight. Right now, with the river so resplendent it is the music of our sleeping, dreaming and awakening.
We’ve just finished lunch of semi-smoked BBQ trout and fresh damper with an assortment of sprouts we have grown as we ran out of shop bought greens. The parsley seedlings and chives we planted into a bed of bog peat are thriving. Something is really enjoying the pansies as they flower, though we are not quite sure what. Perhaps some resident creature we are yet to discover. Or perhaps a snow-shoe hare!
Hard to share the ambience especially knowing of the cold winter we have left behind in Australia. But we are taking the retreat we so longed for and the words and art are starting to emerge. We look forward to our first Australian guests, Gez and John, arriving in August. Do let us know if you happen to be passing by!
From a cabin on a pond somewhere far far away
Nettie and Fran xxx