When Dad moved our family from Newfoundland to Ontario when I was a child it was a bit of a shock. We moved from a very rural area to a small town in Ontario and the question we children kept asking was, “But where is the water?” All these years later I have moved back to Newfoundland (twice) before eventually moving to Alberta where I now live. Alberta is a beautiful province, actually, Canada is a beautiful country, no matter where you live. But there is something about spring and summer that has me yearning for ocean breezes and the scent of brine in the air. Forgive my nostalgia for simpler times and the sweetness of childhood memories. Allow me to share with you a few of the things I miss about the island.

First of all, the view of the ocean from atop the hill where our house was situated, as well as the woods where I often played as a child. As spring turns to summer I still miss the water.

Port au Port West, NL, Canada โ€“ photo by Barra Studio

Can you see why we asked, where is the water? No matter where we went there was always a view of the bay, and depending where you were, you could watch big waves crashing along Bay St. George or enjoy the calmer waters of Port au Port Bay. In any case we were surrounded by water – no wonder we looked for it and were happier once our parents found a few lakes to take us to.

Mr. Walter Martin’s house, down the hill and across the road from where I lived as a child

Mr. Martin, as we called him, was actually related to us. He was our great grandfather’s step brother. I don’t know why we addressed him as Mister, but we did. I loved going down the hill to visit him. He was a dear, sweet man. He had built a stairway down to the rocky beach. If we were going down to the beach it was the safest way to get there as the cliff was quite steep below his home. Once on the beach there were large overhanging sheets of slate that formed a natural shelter from the elements. This house is long gone now, so I am very glad to have this photograph of it.

Mayflowers are a springtime delight, my thanks to Kathy Marche for kindly sending me this photo

Picking flowers in the woods, especially Mayflowers in spring, is another favorite memory. I have never seen them in any other place I’ve lived. Sometimes they were hard to find, particularly early in the season as they tend to hide under their foliage. As the season progresses they are a bit easier to see. I remember the delightful scent of these flowers and how often we would gather them for our Mom.

As the season progresses the pink hue fades to white
Wild roses are prolific along roadsides and on the edges of forest paths all across the island of Newfoundland. Although most are pink from time to time you may see white as well.

The rose pictured above also grows wild here in Alberta and out here it is aptly named the Alberta Rose. Every time I walk in the woods I am reminded again of my childhood home by these sweet-smelling flowers. Their scent is so much stronger than their domestic cousins.

I am happy here in Alberta. The people here are wonderful and it is a beautiful province. One of the things that also remind me of “back home” is the ring of hills surrounding the city. Newfoundland is very hilly, so in addition to the roses, I feel like a little bit of Newfoundland has been transplanted here. And although I do miss the ocean I am gratified to have several water sources nearby from the small pond behind the building to rivers and lakes within a short drive from here. It may not be quite the same as Newfoundland but it is home – even if there is no brine in the air!

14 thoughts on “But where’s the Water?

    1. What I miss about the ocean was all its many moods – huge angry waves that could knock us off a cliff (My mother was quite angry with us for that one) or calm quiet days when the bay was like a mirror. But yes, I love the pond and, for that matter, all bodies of water, even a small stream will do when I am missing the water. LOL

      There are five rivers that flow through the city here. We had quite bad flooding this year, apparently the likes of which had not been seen in a century. I do love the rivers, the nature trails, and the hills that surround this city.

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  1. I love it.

    When we were RVing the question of water or mountains came up frequently. In WI where we have lived most of our lives we have always been within 10 miles of the lake & spend considerable time at the shore regularly. Canโ€™t seem to be happy if there isnโ€™t water nearby.

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