04 Jan 2015 A Rocky Journey through Canada

I am not usually one to consult psychics—I would rather leave my future a mystery. In this case, however, a rune stone reading sounds like fun. It will be part of the enjoyment of visiting Norstead, a Viking re-enactment village on the island of Newfoundland. During the informative tour, I listened to tales about the voyages of the ship, Snorri, learned how iron pieces were smelted from locally harvested bog iron and wondered at the appeal of Christianity to the Vikings when I saw how awfully uncomfortable the church’s pews looked. I was grasping a sense of a brief time in Canada’s long ago past. Why not sneak a glimpse into my own future?

I had found my authentic self when I started writing a few years ago. Unfamiliar surroundings, especially natural, free my creative soul; yet, I struggle to secure the means to reach them. I am blessed to finally realize my dream of seeing Newfoundland—a land quite different from my southern Ontario home. The distinctive island offers plenty of inspiration.

Joy already fills me from all the scenic sensations I have experienced so far, such as the rust-colored Tabletop Mountains in Gros Morne National Park and the isolated outport communities with their colorful homes staggered across hilly, rocky terrain. The spectacular ocean keeps me company on much this trip and is otherwise never far away, like a faithful friend.

Then the rune stone reading reveals a bright, but challenging future—the “bright” part of it makes the “challenging” worthwhile. The reading also reflects certain details of my life perfectly. I feel validated that it is heading in the right direction.

After my reading, I wander away from the village and meander along the shoreline of dark, jagged outcropping. I head towards a hill I had been eyeing during my tour as it steadily revealed itself out of dissipating fog. Gradually leaving the past behind, tranquility takes over the land making it seem like time has stopped.

I follow a worn footpath up the slope carpeted with sparse spongy vegetation barely covering a rocky base. Sharp-edged outcropping thrusts out of exposed patches where the vegetation does not quite succeed in conquering the stark environment. Tiny offshore islands fade in and out of lingering fog, like ghosts trying to remain in our reality.

As I reach the hilltop, my happiness peaks, too. I observe the past where the villagers continue their daily duties and entertain visitors of the faraway present. In the other direction, seagulls, oblivious to time, sweep by on a light breeze over the sea with its gentle waves. I feel a sense of peace and belonging.

With the appreciation of the surrounding raw beauty and such a promising outlook, euphoria seeps deep into my soul to replace the uncertainty living there. I am reminded that life is a journey just like this trip I am on—full of amazing, rugged wonder. I linger until I realize time has caught up to me and is moving on. I guess it is including me in its progress. An intriguing future calls me home.

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Author Bio

Cheryl Smyth is a Canadian writer and photographer. Her desire to include her dog, Tessi, on her travels has inspired her to discover and write about all that pet travel has to offer. Check out their adventures at www.cstravelsandpics.ca.

3 Comments
  • Peter Olausson
    Posted at 10:06h, 07 January Reply

    Nice to read about your trip to Norstead and not least up to the hilltop. That spot has come back to me many times since the jubilee visit in year 2000 and plays an important role in at least to of my poems,

  • Cheryl Smyth
    Posted at 07:56h, 09 January Reply

    Thanks for leaving the comment. It’s nice to see how someone else appreciates this beautiful place.

  • Jan moody
    Posted at 18:17h, 20 January Reply

    You paint a very real picture of the landscape of that area and the feelings it evokes. Wonderful piece!

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