What do people think of when they think of home? For me, it’s on the edge of an island that stretches to the most Eastern point of Canada. A very short distance from the small Atlantic town of Dildo, up the shore and through the southwest side of the neighbouring community New Harbour is what we lovingly refer to as The Point. My Dad’s whole side of the family grew up there. Everything I am made up of comes from right there.
The first time I took that walk the trail still existed. My aunt and I climbed up the hill at the end of our families Point Road and walked along the tree-covered bank above the rock beach. The path had been carved when my aunt and her siblings were younger than I was; now you have to walk the beach to avoid properties claimed by residents that were never there before.
Looking toward the water you can see how the trees on the edge of the bank are a lot smaller and move inward which make them look like a perfect place to build a makeshift fort.The skinny tree trunks bend and twist creating a fairy forest type of feel, for this reason I could always see how kids would strive having this environment to explore and create in, especially in a day before the Internet. Imagination can run wild while it breathes the freshness of salt air here.
The farther from the bank you get when you turn with the land toward the furthermost edge of the point, the trees get taller before getting smaller again, as a result of the powerful wind they face from the open ocean. The trees cut away for a few feet so you can look out toward the whale shaped hunk of land on the northwest side of New Harbour. The sun pokes through the foliage and makes all the leaves and moss glow green in the afternoon sun.
Where the trail used to be the playground for my aunts and uncles has become piles of torn up trees and small patches of destroyed raspberry and blueberry bushes. People have torn trees down to move in and ripped up the trail for the way out with quads and dirt bikes to make the trek easier. At some point within the trees you come on to Hefford land and for that I am thankful. I know that land means as much to the rest of my family as it does to me; therefore, I’ll never have to worry about losing the most magical place I’ve ever known.
When you emerge from the trees, you’ll come upon an overgrown grassy hill. The wind hits your face and allows you to forget the destruction on the path behind you. The salt air rinses your lungs and clears your mind. This is where my family comes to find me when I visit. If I’m not laid in the grass with headphones on talking to a friend where the service is good, I’m on the rocks below the hill thinking about how all the stuff I’m surrounded by is the stuff that I am made of.