Sobre Mesa

Julie and Xavier scouting for whales

One of our favorite summertime adventures in the Pacific Northwest is island-hopping. Last year we ferried around Lopez, San Juan, Gabriola and Vancouver Islands. This year, we camped with friends at one of the fifteen coveted sites at San Juan Island County Campground, watching the resident orca pods swim back and forth more times than we could count. We spent a night with our adopted family Judy and Denny, then jumped on the ferry to Victoria to see grandparents and finished in Vancouver for time with cousins and more friends.

Georgia and Chris discussing logistics as we approach San Juan Island

Epic sunset

During the six days in Victoria, Xavier's highlight was going with Grandad and Abu to see the Humpback Whales IMAX movie at Royal BC Museum. He also loved the electric train traveling across Canada at Miniature World, crabbing in Sooke, playing hoops with Abu and playing Granddad's piano. Georgia most enjoyed the soft carpets in her grandparents' home to practice her new-found skill: crawling.

Abu sinking shots

Dungeness crab feast

My favorite thing in Victoria was chatting with Grace and Allan during and after the beautiful meals Grace made. In Argentina, this time spent gathered around the table is called Sobre Mesa and I wrote this poem for her after one particularly lovely alfresco breakfast.

Sobre Mesa

From Bahia Blanca,
Graciela followed
her first husband
to Canada.
When his drinking
killed that love,
cousin Alicia advised

Don’t come back.
Argentina is a mess.
Go live your life.

Which is why we are 
now still gathered 
around the table,
quite a while
after finishing desayuno,
in her garden on
Vancouver Island.

to my father-in-law,
Abu (as my children call her)
refills our coffee cups and
we talk of all the usual things:
relatives, friends, work,
travels, memories,
and love.
Always love.

My son runs around the table
with his pretend baseball bat
replaying hits, strikes
and home runs
in slow-motion.

Watch Abu! Watch this!
Watch, Mummy, watch.

The baby sits in my lap
blowing raspberries
and interrupting us
with happy shrieks,
showing off her two teeth.

It is July.
A ruby-throated hummingbird
chases a rival.
A yellow-wingtailed butterfly
hovers nearby,
drinking her breakfast,

We have nowhere to be.
We have more to discuss.
We linger.

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