There's No Place Like Home
Templeton Collegiate
Gillams, Newfoundland

By Cherie (grade 11)

"Ladies and gentlemen, please buckle your safety belts and return your seats to their full, upright position, as we begin our descent into Stephenville, Newfoundland."

I was almost home. Just another twenty minutes or so and I would be back on the "rock" again.

After spending the last two months with my relatives in Ontario, I was glad to be back home. Although I had had a wonderful trip and all, it always feels good to return. It was a great summer, certainly one to remember. I learned more about myself and the love of my province than I ever imagined could take place in one summer.

I knew that each province was unique and each had its own special characteristics, but leaving my affable island was like leaving the warm consistency of a mother’s arms. Still, I prepared myself to take in and learn all that this new world had to ofer.

I remember the flabbergasted look pasted upon my face as my plane began its descent into Toronto airport. I could see colossal buildings and endless streets lined from one end to the other with stores and shops. I saw traffic-jammed highways and herds of people rushing towards some secret destination. I was in total awe of my unfamiliar surroundings. It was an experience all in its own.

"Excuse me, Miss," said the flight attendant, as she went on her last check for safety belts before landing. "Would you please tighten your safety belt?"

"Oh, right," I bashfully replied as I snapped back into reality. I looked out my porthole-like window and saw the endless sapphire waves below me. It was total contrast to the landing view I saw two months ago. Instead of large buildings and congested highways, I saw quaint little houses lightly lacing the sides of a conventional two-lane road. The comforting scene made me smile.

"Ladies and gentlemen, please watch your step as you exit the plane, and thank-you for flying Royal Airlines. We hope to see you again."

I gathered my things and made my way to the nearest exit.

As soon as I took my first step on Newfoundland soil ( well, pavement, actually), I could feel the difference in the air and, once again, I found myself drifting back to my flight at the beginning of the summer.

I remember how I could feel the tension in the air, the sense of purpose to every step I took. Every person I saw was going somewhere, not just walking or moving along, but they had reason for each stride. There was a whole new pace to things; a faster, almost exciting air about the whole city. It made your blood level rise and your heart beat a little faster just to keep up with those around you. It was almost to much for a new-comer too handle.

"Excuse me Miss, but you’re holding up the line." said a voice with a slight touch of impatience.

"Oh, I’m sorry." I replied as I collected my thoughts and started for the terminal. I could easily detect the difference in the air about me - not only was it clean and smog-free but less dense, too. Perhaps that sounds funny but it’s true. Maybeit's because of the absence of that hustle and bustle, it was easier to breathe. The pace about the airport was noticeably slower too. Wow! What a difference!

As I looked around my home province, I felt like I was meeting up with an old friend. I felt at ease and flooded with pride. It’s funny how a place can grow on you. The way you feel a little flutter in your chest when you hear the name of your homet own or how you’re struck by just a pinch of loneliness when you remember the view from the living room window of the house in which you grew up.

I turned in a complete circle. To my far right was a thick, green forest. Each tree complemented and acknowledged the presence of the other trees. Their fragrant needles and leaves filled my nose with their sweet aroma. Behind me was the 727 that transported me from the soft tranquillity of home to the mesmerising, concrete zoo of metro Toronto and back again. Its metal wings acted as a bridge between worlds. To my far left was the calm and beckoning ocean. Her white-capped waves beat against the shoreline in a familiar rhythm that I had dreamt about for the last two months. It was good to hear it for real this time. Then, directly in front of me was a sight that took my breath away. I stood dazed by its beauty as the Newfoundland flag, perched proudly on the roof of the airport, flapped and danced in the warm August breeze. Against a summer blue backdrop, it WAS the most comforting thing I ever saw.

"Miss? Hello, miss."

"Huh? Oh, yes."

"Miss, you’re tramping on my foot!"

"OOPS! Sorry."

Front Page Soap Box