A Thousand Words: Francois, NL

Actual context: my hometown of Francois, NL
Actual context: my hometown of Francois, NL

Sitting atop the rough hewn face of the cliff and looking out over the small inlet town and the moors that surround it, Ella felt as though she’d been transported through time. Not just back to her childhood and the last time she had sat atop the hill, but back to a time long ago, when life was simpler and calmer and yet wilder and more untamed.

The rolling green hills that surrounded the town had the same massive awesomeness and beauty of the hills she’d visited in Ireland. She’d heard many times growing up that the hills of Ireland were life-changing to be beheld in person, but when she’d finally made it there she hadn’t felt changed or wowed. In truth, all she had felt was nostalgic.

The water, cool and as calm as slate glass today, carried a soft breeze with it that brought the taste and smell of salt to her face. The gentle lapping of the tides provided her a soundtrack for her hike.

The community center was below her, a tarp over its back entrance flapping in the wind.

The houses below look small and are built on top of one another, fitting wherever they can like Lego blocks within the enclosed space of the harbor. Stairs wind along the rock face if the shone zipping one way and then another at high angles, connecting both low road and high road to the main street that bisects the town.

She realized, suddenly, why she’d felt so homesick in Mexico. All the houses cramped together must have reminded her of home.

The church peeks up over a mound in the far right of her vision, the eyes of its large stained glass windows peering at her secretively. Lovingly. She’d never felt any other church was a real church since leaving. That no church was closer to God than that blue-and-white house on the hill.

She sighed. Down below in the distance, she could see Uncle Tom coming out of the back door to tend to the barbecue. His house was an unmistakable orange, but she didn’t need that to pick it out. She knew the names of every person that lived in every house before her.

She was home.

Story and image copyright 2012 Matthew LeDrew

Never Look Back

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