I was driving our old brown pick-up truck, the one we bought in 1983 for lumber, manure, bags of seaweed, little apple trees to begin the orchard we eventually abandoned. I was driving our pick-up truck and Lily was in the back, still alive, and I looked back to see her there, her ears fluttering a little in the wind. I’d missed the school bus but it didn’t matter because I had the truck and where were the children? I didn’t know. In the dream I drove along the highway past the lake and when I reached the turn to our driveway, it was no longer there. It was grown over and there was no way home.
Hearing them drive away this morning, the last carload, on their way to Texada Island for a few days of camping before heading back to Edmonton, I paused for a few minutes to finish my coffee. The house so quiet. The empty beds.
Waxwings eating the grapes, Steller’s jays squawking for seeds, two chickadees on the clothesline beside the sheets I hung out earlier, and as I swam my slow laps in the lake, a family of Canada geese, 5 of them, gliding by in deeper water, farther away by the minute.