Into The Blizzard
Walking the Fields of the Newfoundland Dead. Hardcover.
By Michael Winter
"At Beaumont-Hamel, I accepted the path through the gateless shaded entry, and the trees opened up for me like curtains on a stage. Standing in the distance,in profile, was the tall bronze caribou: the memorial to the Newfoundland Regiment. The sun was still above the trees, but sinking fast and already distant. The sun was on its way to Newfoundland.
The wide batterfield was now before me, spreading out and drifting down to a copse and, to the far right, a small graveyard of white stones like tablets laid out carefully in the grass . . . I found myself in the cemetery of the fallen. I sat my pack down and walked along the quiet rows of the dead.
I strolled there for a hour. Alone. I heard bagpipes and birdsong. I saw rabbits with their ears rotated towards me. A hawk on the wire in the middle ground, his neck tensely twisted in my direction. I had been in tears since arriving here, I realized, and tears felt like a normal state of being.
I am in the place, I thought, I have travelled so far to see, and I have no idea what this moment will be like."