Thursday, July 1, 2010

A City Fit For a Queen

Last week I worked in Victoria and one of the places I had appointments was Royal Roads University. The day was beautiful. I went to the dining room of the Delta for breakfast and was seated at the same table that Dad, Mum, Cath and I were seated on the Sunday morning in 2006 when I brought them out with me to Vancouver and Victoria for the weekend. This was the view:

I got to Royal Roads at 9:00 in the morning, just when the mist was rising off the lagoon and I could glimpse the mountains.

I met lovely Max, who introduced me to the new head of the department and new faculty members - Max who, at age 60, will complete her degree next June!

    Walking up from the parking lot                         The sweeping front drive

Max introduced me to Mike, he of the quicksilver lines tripping off the tip of his tongue but the disquieting lament tugging at the corners of his eyes. As Max and I were sitting in her office, Mike came back and asked if he could have a word with me in his office.

He wanted to ask about the possibility of
publishing with Carswell (sadly, his work is not one of our subjects) and somehow our conversation drifted away to parents and then it was clear what had been reflected in his eyes: his father had died recently, needlessly, from a tiny infection that had gotten out of control. "It was tedious," he commented laconically.

"It was devastating," I suggested.

"Yes," he admitted softly.

"I know," I replied.

"Yes," he said and looked me straight in the eye.

And as I left his office and the building, my mind and heart were suffused with memories of my Mum, who was here on the grounds of Royal Roads in 2006. How she loved flowers and greenery and gardens and beautiful buildings replete with history!

I followed a hint of jasmine on a breeze and tracked it to a bush teeming with blossoms just near the entry to the gift shop ...

And then I walked around the grounds and took a few pictures:

                        Secret door 

This tree reminded me of my Mum - complicated, wise,
wounded, sheltering and embracing


Flowers everywhere!

Later that evening I met Sweet Jane in Sidney for our second annual Farmers Market Blitz and Mexican Feast Reunion:

I selected three more hand-crafted marbles for the TH collection, marbles created of blown glass by Sarah Mulligan in the tradition of the 1800s (if you're interested in seeing how she creates her marbles, go to - each marble is a work of art!) ...

... and a beautiful pendant, also created by Sarah, that reminded me how life is so precious, so delicate, a vapour; fragile and powerful as a breath of air.

That evening, having said goodbye to Jane, I strolled to the pier and watched the sun set, all crimson and peppery extravagance ...

... and the moon rise, silver and munificent in an ultramarine sky, a benediction.  



  1. i'm amazed at how loss unites the hurting. one of the few hidden jewels of grief, i think.

    beautiful pendent (can't wait to see it in person!) beautiful pictures, beautiful words. i think i'm needing to sit by your piano and reach for that box of kleenex...again.

  2. Beauty of a picture gallery. I particularly like the one of you with the street person. Heh.


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