|Hilary circa 1978 in Burnaby|
There is a bittersweet feeling (an ache in my heart) in me today as my Burnaby daughter Hilary (50) is coming for a visit. It has all to
do with the warmth my mother and I felt
long ago when we took a tram to visit my abuelita in downtown Buenos Aires. I want to repeat that warmth.
The interminable wait for Tram 35,
The long and never ending route it took,
The beautiful church on Juramento and Cabildo
I always watched out for out of the window of Tram 35
The expectation of getting to Mother’s flat,
At the end of the line,
And the warmth I’d get there!
The above lines are from a poem, called Argentine Nostalgia, my mother wrote on December 1956 in Nueva
Rosita, Coahuila, Mexico is frequently in my
thoughts. Because I have lived in Buenos Aires, Mexico (Mexico City, Veracruz,
Nueva Rosita), Austin and now Vancouver I feel a nostalgia/longing for all of
them. It was only about 15 years ago that it dawned on me that to feel nostalgia you have to not be in the place you are feeling that nostalgia for! I would have to be in my Buenos Aires to feel for that Vancouver rain.
Important in Argentine Nostalgia are those 7 lines that mention Tram 35. I often accompanied my mother on that tram so we could visit my abuelita. I remember one time, I was 8 or 9, when I was crossing the street on Nahuel Huapí, and Melián, half a block from our house on Melián 2770, old man asked me if I knew if the “tranvay” stopped.
I wrote about my love for trams in this blog:
If it were not for the constant companionship of my two cats, Niño and Niña and visits (or forays to good films) from Hilary I would have no sense of purpose and my constant grief for the loss of my Rosemary would be worse.
Hilary is aptly called as she does have a hilarious disposition and a ready smile. I love preparing a good meal for her and to chat as we sit at Rosemary’s Victorian crank table.
It is that warmth that my mother wrote about in her poem that I want to repeat for Hilary. She might never write a poem but I do hope that someday she will think of the comfort she got when she visited her father’s Kits home.
The photographs of Hilary and the old trams I took on Lougheed Highway between Willingdon and Boundary were they were stored by BC Hydro. The strip of b+w film here was one of my earliest use of a brand new Mamiya RB-67 I had purchased. I had much to learn. At that time we lived in a little house in Burnaby on Springer Avenue and Lougheed Highway. They were simpler times and in that rosy past I remember my Rosemary and our two daughters. If only I could write poems like my mother did.