on the balcony of the Surf Motel,

full moon over Ogden Point

just after 6 a.m., the full moon hanging over Ogden Point, and the lights of the cable ship crisp in the darkness. We’re getting ready to head back home after nearly a week away. The weather has been brilliant, days warm and absolutely clear, and the nights dense with stars over the Strait of Juan de Fuca. So much of Victoria has changed but there’s a lot I recognize and yearn for, not the least of which is the Strait which formed part of the music of my childhood. We could hear storms from our house on Eberts Street and on summer days I’d lie in the hot sand near Clover Point and imagine a life exactly like the one I had. Who would I have been if I’d stayed?

A wonderful evening at Munro’s Books last night, Bill Gaston reading a very funny story from his new book, and I read from Euclid’s Orchard. My brother Steve and his wife Rita were there, my daughter Angelica and her boyfriend Craig, along with many friends. I wouln’t have written this book if I’d stayed in Victoria. I probably wouldn’t have met John and that means my family would not have occurred. Unthinkable.

But I might have bought a little house in James Bay and walked Dallas Road daily, stopping for coffee at the cafe at Ogden Point. Maybe I’d have taught writing at UVic or become a botanist or learned to play the harp. Maybe I’d be the woman I see now, walking a lab below the window, softly murmuring into her phone.

6 thoughts on “on the balcony of the Surf Motel,”

  1. Isn’t it a wonder the Surf Motel is still there? I’ve never thought of staying there, but your post has made me want to. I wonder if I ever will, now that my sons both have homes of their own in Victoria with room for me when I visit? Yes, I think I’ll have to make a point of it, while I still have the chance.

      1. I’m so disappointed. I went to book a couple of nights on my next visit to Victoria in February, and discovered they’re closed for the winter months. 😦

      2. Yes, they close in winter because (I think) the building is older and has single-pane windows, electric baseboards, and probably not great insulation so I expect it would be expensive to heat during the cold months. Every room has an entire wall of windows looking out to the strait…

    1. I arrived home a little while ago and honestly wouldn’t want another life. Cat by the fire, the quiet, scent of woodsmoke….But there are moments, esp. in other places, when I do think of the road(s) not taken.

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