Deborah P Kolodji (dkolodji) wrote,
Deborah P Kolodji

Canada Geese and Memories of Montréal

Today I pulled into the parking lot at the office and was greeted by a flock of Canada Geese, noisily honking as they dropped en masse into Walnut Creek, which runs by the back of the parking lot, eventually emptying into the San Gabriel River.

The arrival of the geese reminded me that I never finished my Canadian memoir.

After leaving WorldCon on August 10th, I lunched on board le Bateau Mouche as it cruised the St. Lawrence River around Île Sainte-Hélène, site of the 1967 World Expo and the home of La Ronde, a Six Flags Amusement Park. I wanted to cruise on the St. Lawrence before I left Montréal in honor of my junior high school science and geometry teacher, Dr. Francis St. Lawrence, who liked to tease us by saying that the St. Lawrence Seaway was named for him.

Dr. St. Lawrence was one of those inspiring teachers who only comes along once in a blue moon. It is because of him that I became interested in science and math. He also fostered my love of poetry. He would close class on Friday by reading a poem by Poe or Alfred Noyes or Lewis Carroll.

'twas brillig
as the boat sailed...
the St. Lawrence

Next I ventured underground and took the Métro to the Olympic Park, where I was to meet Angela Leuck for a Poet in the Garden adventure.

listening for my stop
I can't understand
his accent

I never took French in school, so the way the conductor pronounced each stop was wildly different from the way my English-conditioned ears thought it should sound. I solved the problem by holding the subway map in front of me and trying to reconcile the sound of each stop with what was written on the map. Eventually, I exited at "Pie-IX," the correct stop for the Olympic Stadium.

stadium quiet
across the street
I listen for dragonflies

Somehow I completely misunderstood where I was to meet Angela and she didn't have a cell phone. After several calls to her house, I eventually just walked to the Botanical Garden myself, hoping I'd eventually run into her.

summer roses
I ask the bronze lion
where you are

I wandered the Japanese and Chinese Gardens and as dusk approached, I made my way back to the entrance where I got a call from her son. He just finished saying, "It's too bad you missed each other" when she suddenly appeared! We walked back to the Chinese Garden, glowing with lanterns.

approaching dark
another day over
too soon

Angela Leuck, Jardin botanique de Montréal

Afterwards, Angela invited me to her home for a wonderful meal of homemade pizza.
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