Two days ago I saw a tweet from Iceberg Finder (@IcebergTweets) marking the start of the iceberg season in Newfoundland. The first iceberg has been spotted in Twillingate, and that means the second, third and fourth will soon be seen and photographed. There will be tweets, and Facebook posts, and even though I live far from the ocean now, I’ll be able to follow these magnificent structures as they travel down the Newfoundland coast.
It’s not the same as being there, of course. It’s not the same as walking across a beach with my father on a summer afternoon to see if we could touch an iceberg that, from our initial vantage point, seemed so close to the shore. It’s not the same as jumping on our bikes when Kenneth was little to pedal to Middle Cove when the first iceberg was sighted… then hopping in the car to see if we could find more. But it’s absolutely marvelous nonetheless.
You see, I have always been fascinated by icebergs –– their individuality, their strength, their raw and natural beauty. Indeed, the name Iceberg Publishing is tied directly to the piece of iceberg my father and I found on Bellevue Beach in the summer of 1974, the piece that we carried back to our campsite and then to our home.
I don’t know what touching that piece of iceberg meant to my father, I wrote of that experience in A Daughter’s Gift. He never said and I never asked. I know that for me it was like touching a star or a sunset, something I never thought I’d be able to touch. If my dad didn’t feel as I did, however, he seemed to instinctively understand and accept its significance to me. He could have told me we shouldn’t try to walk that far… He could have encouraged me to turn back when we realized how far away the iceberg really was. He could have told me the iceberg would just melt and drip all the way back, or be too cold to carry, or take up too much room in a tiny freezer. He could have told me my need to keep it was illogical or just plain silly. But he did none of these things; he simply walked beside me… and helped me carry my dream.
There’s more to that story, of course, some already written, some yet to come in A Father’s Legacy. But perhaps that’s enough for now, because it explains how much icebergs, and the start of iceberg season, mean to me, and to all of us at Iceberg.