here, there, everywhere

A Walk Up to Signal Hill

In At home, Canada, Newfoundland on October 16, 2004 at 6:35 pm

I’ve come to St. John’s, Newfoundland, for my two-month broadcast internship at the CBC.  I had originally wanted to go to Israel but CBC said “no” faster than I could ask.  I almost made it with CTV, the Middle East bureau chief said sure, it was fine, but the national office kaiboshed that as well.  I then decided if I couldn’t see that part of the world I should at least see my own country.  It was a choice between the Yukon, NWT, and Newfoundland.  St. John’s responded first so here I am.

My parents were telling friends I was heading out there so they passed along the name of a couple they knew there.  I got in touch and when I landed in St. John’s they were waiting for me.  Melanie took me back to their home where I would stay until I found other accommodation.  While we were talking over dinner it turned out she knew my brother from Waterloo days and I knew her best friend who had been a roommate of mine in Amsterdam 7 years earlier.  Every time I try to make my world bigger it closes in around me.  Anyhoo, intros over I set about finding a place to live.  Mel and her husband, Scott, had put my request in their church bulletin and within four days I was settled in a lovely home with an older woman.  I had the whole second floor of the house to myself and was only a 20 minute walk to the television studios.  Talk about an easy entry.

After about two weeks I finally had some time to explore so I decided to go for my first walk/hike and head towards Signal Hill.  The Saturday afternoon was a perfect autumn day, clear blue skies, crisp air and a strong wind.  I ran into one of the cameramen about 5 minutes into the walk and he pointed me in the direction of The Battery.  After that I headed around the bluff up to the top and Cabot Tower, and then along the ridge and down into Quidi Vidi.

What struck me more than anything about this walk was the ocean.  At home the Pacific is a beautiful, idyllic and summertime playground.  The Atlantic, on the other hand, looks like it wants to destroy you.  Standing and letting the sea air blow over me I couldn’t help but imagine how easy it would be to give in to the call of the sea.  It’s the wildness and unpredictability that draws a person in, it’s scary and magnificent.

St. John’s is beautiful and I’m so glad this ended up being my destination.  I’m going to make the most of my time here and explore whatever I can.

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