redux: dream, dream, dream (with thanks to the Everly Brothers)

Note: two years (and two days) ago, photographs arrived of the first day of school in Edmonton and in Ottawa. This year, the photographs arrived last week, and on different days, because one family has relocated (or will, next weekend) to Gatineau and school starts earlier there. So on Monday and on Thursday the kids went to school, the younger ones too. And I’m still dreaming here on the west coast.

_________________________

Dream, dream, dream, dream
dream, dream, dream, dream

This morning, photographs arrived: the first day of school for my older grandchildren. How the years have passed. In Edmonton, it’s grade one for K. She is wearing her favourite colour, purple, and her bike is ready for her, complete with ladybird bell.

first day, K

Wasn’t it just a month or two ago that we were driving along the Yellowhead Highway to meet her for the first time? Her father had called two nights earlier to say she’d been born and we spent a day packing up the car. We had gifts for her and her parents and I remember waking in Valemount at dawn after arriving there the evening before (a long day’s drive…), saying if we left right now, we’d be there in time for lunch.

kelly and grandma

When I want you in my arms

In Ottawa, it’s year two of kindergarten.

first day, A

This is a young man who knows the names of dinosaurs and the relative ages of fossils. When his younger brother was born, we visited, and I remember a picnic on the Madawaska River where A. and I sat on chairs by the slow river and talked about time. Well, mostly he talked, and I listened. He pretty much had it down. We talked about water and where it went and if Herakleitos didn’t actually come up, he was certainly in the air.

talking about time

When I want you and all your charms
Whenever I want you, all I have to do is
Dream, dream, dream, dream

I know that it wasn’t the school bus I heard coming from Egmont at 8 a.m. because school doesn’t start until next week in B.C. but I remember my children racing down the driveway to meet it, new clothes from the Sears catalogue, no lunch for the first day because it was only a half-day, and then listening again around noon for the bus to pause at our driveway to let them off. We’d have lunch and then head down to the lake for a swim. We could swim all through September and then one morning we’d wake and realize the time had passed.

It was quiet at the lake this morning. I swam, I thought of school, and how my mother took us to Spencers Store on Government Street in Victoria for clothing, and how I’d line up my blouses and skirts on my bed to imagine myself in them, a better version of myself, someone who would take more care with her printing, and try not to interrupt the teacher. I thought of walking to Sir James Douglas Elementary along May Street and then Moss, my lunch kit and school bag bumping against my legs, and how September in Victoria was always so mild. Like here. I couldn’t have imagined carrying a mask in my pocket, or wearing one, and keeping my distance at recess. I swam and thought of my grandchildren in this damaged beautiful world and when I came out to dry myself off, my face was wet with what might have been the lake and might have been tears.

Dream, dream, dream, dream

2 thoughts on “redux: dream, dream, dream (with thanks to the Everly Brothers)”

  1. One of my favourite songs, dreeeeeam dream dream. Definitely fall here, I’m wearing socks. School starts tmw – Grade One and Grade Four. No, I’m a year behind – Grade Two and Grade Five! I can’t keep up. As another great song says, Slow down, you move too fast, you’ve got to make the morning last. S and G.

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