Thirty three years away…yet Newfoundland is home.
At the age of ten, we moved to Halifax but returned every summer to spend time with family. Forty-odd first cousins. Multiple Aunts and Uncles. My beautiful grandparents and a gaggle of friends, traditions and history.
The feeling of being surrounded by that much love, the salt air, the sound of the wind, the heart of the people. Standing on top of Signal Hill and breathing it in. Joy.
It’s about being part of something so beautiful…so amazing…that you never want to take it for granted.
A few years ago, after my marriage ended and I was left in pieces, all I wanted was to feel like I belonged and in doing so, went searching. While on my journey, I met a few musicians from Newfoundland…Paul Lamb, Cory Tetford, Barry Canning. All have been part of my life in profound ways whether they knew it or not. Their music. Their friendship. Somehow they’ve brought me back to my roots…to re-discover who I am…where I fit.
While Newfoundland, is always there… it’s what was inside that I’d lost. Who I was and what I stood for.
Last week, my friend Barb and I were chatting online about a CD release party she was attending. A fellow I’d not heard of for many years. To be honest, I don’t know how far back it goes except that I’d probably heard him play at MUN Lobby Parties… maybe at The Breezway… possibly at Christians or The Duke… hell, we might be related! I don’t remember entirely how I know him except to know that I remembered Billy Hickey’s name and his music from my youth… from times spent with my cousins…over more than one drink with the people I love.
Today, Billy’s CD arrived in the mail, signed with a “missed you tonight, hope all is well” note written inside. I listened for a moment and there it was…the sound…Home.
One song after the next of original tunes…songs I’ve not heard before…but knew. With a bit of toe tapping and through a couple of tears I took a peek at the credits and shouldn’t have been surprised to see both Paul and Cory named as contributors on the CD.
Of course they are.
All of us seek a place where we belong. With people who make us whole. Who remind us of the most important things. That life goes on. People change. We grow. We struggle. We marry, have kids…some divorce. We change and when the shit hits the fan we need to re-group…get back to the home that we know.
It’s the lyrics in Billy’s song that explains a little of how I feel about a place I adore…
When you’re all out of answers and feel like you’re losing your mind. When you can’t see the footprints that you left behind. If you’re sick of the struggle and need someone to pick you up and haul you along. It’s the smell of the ocean…a hot Sunday meal. The old feather bed and how awesome it would feel. It’s people who understand us. Who can answer the questions you don’t even know how to ask. It’s the sunset in Portugal Cove. It’s knowing people are waiting for you at the door… to pick up the pieces and dust you off. It’s getting back to the only home you know.
It’s the music. The feeling of being in a room full of family singing traditional songs and hilarious ditties. It’s various Aunts and Uncles pounding the keys on the piano and passing around the guitar. It’s “The Brennan’s” joining in with their beautiful voices. My brother strumming the guitar around the campfire in Torbay. My daughter playing the one I gave her last last Christmas.
The music…it reminds me of everything and everyone I hold dear. Who I am. Where I belong.
All of that, I got from one CD…and a beautiful place called Home.
Check out Billy’s music at eMusic,on Amazon or obviously you can pick it up at Freds! Congratulations Billy on creating beautiful, heartfelt songs that remind us what we’re all searching for…and where we belong.
After reading this I have such a desire to get home for Christmas. Yes for the last 34 years home to St Johns I have gone. With most of my family living there myself and my sister and niece pack up every year and head home for the holidays. My niece gets to connect with all her cousins and I get to see all the other neices and nephews and my brothers and mom and cousins and aunts. No matter where I live and having moved 37 times since high school for study and work when asked the question where are you from the answer is always Newfoundland. I may live somewhere but home is always home. I will have to check out this CD.
Wow “Queen” this was AWESOME!!!!!