Today’s story starts with a band called the Split Peas and ends with a surprise. The Split Peas began their minor scale songs in an old reconditioned church. The organ for that church was built in Europe. It is told that the manufacturing company for the organ was bombed during World War II. Now that organ is in the middle the island of Twillingate and serving as a backdrop to stories, told through songs about the old souls. The Split Peas were happy to celebrate Canada joining Newfoundland, back in 1949, and wondered if the 150th birthday party for Canada was a bit off on numbers.
Addition, subtraction or any sort of multiplication – Twillingate is a place that likes to take its time to show you her work. She has hidden icebergs, open smiles, and raging winds which are all tempered with warm summer days. On this summer day two strangers from Ontario were invited to join a piece of history.
Today’s story moved from a reconditioned church to walking the path called “Spillers Cove”. As an aside, I am not sure “path” would be the correct term to someone from Ontario but it certainly was the word used by the half pint newfie suggesting we take that walk. Spillers Cove was stunning, gorgeous, breathtaking, and resplendent with surprises while it took us either up or down – never horizontal!
Eventually we spilled out of the backcountry onto a small road and asked a stranger for directions. He gave us fresh water and walked us through his grandfather’s backyard to point out the recommended shortcut. It was through more backyards. Somehow we thought that was a splendid idea.
You see, we had originally thought we were walking a path. We were not aware we were trekking, the way alpacas, sheep, goats and other rock face climbing animals travel. By the end we were wobbled, wowed, and thirsty and looking for a quick way back. As we embarked on the final leg and took the shortcut, we were assured us the worst thing that could happen would be “someone would say hello”.
So off we went through waist high grass, which quickly progressed into descending down a short cliff, masqueraded by soft green vegetation. It was at this point that I wondered why the local spots are often named after body parts such as Toogood Arm, Crow Head, Cobbs Arm, Pikes Arm, and Herring Neck. I then started to wonder why there were three arms, what happened to the other body parts, and what song was written about them.
Once half way into this mess of a “short cut” an old weathered gentle man stuck his head out of his back door and looked at us with his left eye. He began coaching us through our descent. We were redirected, a number of times. Once we completed the “short cut” he mentioned that the only way we could be lost is if we did not know where we were.
It was a poetic end to a day full of Newfoundland music, stories, rocky vistas, and an unexpected Osprey feeding three young ones. Today a piece of me broke off in this old land. It is now left behind on the rocky trail, waiting for the weather to hone it and do what it does best. That piece was a part of the guarded police officer who found trusting in humanity to be a false course of action. Today I wonder if all I needed to do was come to Newfoundland to heal my heart, my mind, and my soul.
Here is the visual feast to the story you have just read. There are no images from the back yard short cut and the left eyed man directing us. We were were busy being safe, descending vertically, and remembering where we were.
JT. Murphy signing off for the day, one chip lighter.