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Monday, 5 December 2016

Wonderland

"Is that wonderland jam, Nanny?" my three year old granddaughter asks as she waits for the partridgeberry jam for her crackers. Wonderland is what Caitlin calls Newfoundland.

 

"Yes it is," I say as I spread the jam for her and smile. Caitlin doesn't have any memories of Wonderland although she has been there. She was two months old when her mother took her to Corner Brook to see her sick great grandfather. Somehow, in Caitlin's mind, Newfoundland is Wonderland.

 

I know what she means. While I love my current island home, my soul belongs to Wonderland too and this time of year, as Christmas draws near, my thoughts always turn to home.

The people, the rugged landscape, the way of life, are part of my being. It is a place where weather is a conversation piece, where wind predominates and fog, rain and snow are common. You don't visit for the great weather. However, that weather is one of the features which binds the people together, as they fight the elements and struggle in that rugged environment. 

Humour is a way of life too. The people see the lighter side of life and can easily share a joke to ease a burden. We are deeply rooted in our island home. It is said you will know all the Newfoundlanders in heaven. They are the ones who want to go home. 

We are also a friendly, hospitable people as evidenced by the events of September 11, 2001. The people of Gander and other central Newfoundland communities, opened their hearts and homes to passengers of over 30 giant aircraft, forced to land while in route to their destinations in the United States on that fateful day. They landed in Gander, almost doubling the size of the town in one day.

The story of their reception in Gander is now on its way to Broadway as the musical Come from Away. It played in Gander and is on stage now in Toronto, opening in New York in March. It has received rave reviews. 

In the face of some of the worst which humankind can do to one another, there was an example of hope during those tragic days. 

"Yes, Caitlin. There is a wonderland."


28 comments:

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

People from cold lands often seem to have warm hearts. Long live Wonderland!

Debra She Who Seeks said...

"Wonderland" -- that's so cute!

DJan said...

This post made me cry, it's so beautiful and filled with the love that humanity shares with each other. I had heard about Gander's kindness and think there are people who will never forget the love that came from that awful day.

Angela said...

I agree with Caitlin! Beautiful land with beautiful people!

Anonymous said...

Caitlin is such a clever girl. She's found what matters and only three. Someone once said we should be like little children to enter paradise. I think he was right.

Silver Willow said...

very, very touching. Thank you. :)

Ginnie said...

I'm so glad that I've found your blog Marie. I would never have known about Gander and I can't wait to read up about it. Thanks to Caitlin for reminding you of Wonderland and passing it on to us.

Elephant's Child said...

Wonderland.
Perfect name.
And story. Thank you. And all the people in the home of your heart.

Tabor said...

You are blest to have such a wonderland to remember. May we all remember how much we owe others in our life.

Marie Smith said...

They do indeed, John.

Marie Smith said...

I guess wonderland was a term she understood more than Newfoundland!

Marie Smith said...

I miss home his time of year though I love PEI.

Marie Smith said...

Caitlin does have the right name I think too, Angela.

Marie Smith said...

I think he is too, SS.

Marie Smith said...

You are welcome, SW.

Marie Smith said...

I am happy to share the story, Ginnie.

Marie Smith said...

They are great people, EC. Very down to earth and kind!

Marie Smith said...

So true, Tabor. We owe so much to others!

Barbara said...

Interesting. I didn't know that about Gander. I never really thought about what happened to all those planes. I'll have to share this with my daughter. She loves musicals and all plays.

Anonymous said...

Your granddaughter is so cute in looks and in her response! You are blest with a lot of beauty around you and your family. Andrea

Anvilcloud said...

I think Wonderland is a good name for it.

Marie Smith said...

There were many displaced passengers that day all over eastern Canada. Gander didn't have enough hotel rooms like the larger cities.

Marie Smith said...

Caitlin is a wise soul, Andrea.

Marie Smith said...

Out of the mouths of babes, AC.

Ratty said...

This proves Wonderland is real. Little girls always know.

Marie Smith said...

They do indeed, Ratty.

baili said...

glad to meet you through wonderland that is what it is !
your granddaughter is so precious ! may she have a long healthy and happy life ahead,amen.

Marie Smith said...

Our children and grandchildren are such precious gifts, aren't they, baili?